There are four designated opal prospecting blocks at Lightning Ridge that prospectors with opal prospecting licences can search for opals on.
In the first incident on December 16, a resident living near a disused shaft fell about 6m down the shaft and stayed there for more than 24 hours before being found and rescued.
In the second incident on April 29 a claim holder suffered spinal fractures when he fell to the bottom of a mine shaft while working on the ladder in the shaft.
On May 11 a claim holder suffered compound fractures to both ankles and a fractured femur when he fell down a shaft while using the mine shaft access ladder to exit it.
While most mine shafts are generally only a hazard to the miners using them, the shafts at Lightning Ridge ...