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Mintabie is a small, opal mining area 33 kilometres west of Marla and 265 kilometres north of Coober Pedy. The fields were discovered in the early 1920s, when good deposits of black opal were found. Large scale mining operations dependent on earth-moving equipment opened the area up in the 1970s. The settlement is still small, however, and facilities for tourists are limited. Access to Mintabie requires a permit, available from the Police Stations at Marla and Alice Springs.