Our People



When I started my small business Instagram account @brokenrivermining in 2016 I had no idea of the adventure that lay ahead of me. In my isolation in the middle of Australia, mining for my beloved opals, I wanted a way to communicate with a larger community - to share my love for opals and the stunning Australian country in which they are born.  

As both an opal miner and cutter, one of the most amazing things that I get to do everyday - if I am lucky - is to be the first person on the planet to expose an opal and gaze upon its beauty. To find, extract and split a raw boulder opal is like no other experience.

Then I have to ask the question – do I keep them as raw specimens or cut them into opal stones? The raw specimens are rare and unique and keeping them in this form allows us to admire the formation of opal in all of its natural beauty and wonder. But on the other hand, I also adore opal gemstones! To me the experience of twisting and turning an opal in my fingers when cutting and polishing it is truly mesmerizing.

Our Australian opals burn in the psyche like no other gemstones. The brilliance of patterns, the play of colours - violets, reds, magentas, royal blues, greens, orange and yellows - each opal is forever unique. Opals reflect the sheer beauty and uniqueness of the country from which they are born.

My goal is to share that beauty of opal with you.

Sue Cooper



 Xandy is not only an avid opal-lover (how could you not be as the daughter of two opal miners and cutters?) but also runs our day-to-day operations. From customer service, photography, website design and managing social media, she is pretty much indispensable.  She also cuts opal and has killer taste, so if an opal makes it to her favourites list, you should probably take notice. With a background in science, she is also always on the hunt for ways that we can make our business more sustainable and environmentally friendly. 


We are a small family business that has the pleasure working with some of the most talented opal miners, mechanics and opal cutters on the planet. We are lucky that our family, friends and community support us and are generous with both their time and knowledge.


We also acknowledge that we are on the land of the Boonthamurra people and pay respects to elders past, present and emerging.