Chillagoe, about 200 km west of Cairns, is set amongst woodlands interspersed with limestone karsts and caves. Some 400 mya shallow seas covered the area; today the remains of the coral reefs are seen as jagged limestone outcrops often covered with dry rainforest. Because of the shelter provided by the caves, many examples of aboriginal rock art may be found. Archaeology students attending the Rock Art Field School are introduced to art images and symbols encountered in an archeological context and the significance to indigenous people. Students in earth sciences come to the area not only to study the landforms but also the various ore bearing rocks. It is a complex geological area. Gold is mined at Red Dome mine, copper and silver have been mined in the past. Chillagoe marble is exported. Tungsten, molybdenum and bismouth are being mined to the north around Mount Carbine. Coal was once mined near Mt Mulligan 40 km north of Chillagoe.