Li Du had studied the black opal mine market when he came to Lightning Ridge. He knew the way these types of auctions worked, but the mine auction was not a warehouse auction.
Banks could hold a mine for five years, starting from the time the owner stopped paying taxes on it. In order to save money, banks did not take a mine and auction it immediately. They often waited until they had several mines to auction off, and then they auctioned them off together, similar to a warehouse auction.
There was no doubt that it was harder to accumulate mines than warehouses.
The reason banks didn't hold an auction immediately when they repossessed a mine was that mines were usually difficult to auction off. This was because the mines were often abandoned. Obviously, as long as the mine produced gemstones, the mine's owners would not abandon it, nor would they abandon the mine for tax purposes.
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