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Three men have been charged over a gold heist at a mine in Western Australia.

Police allege Thomas Luke Gibbons, Adam Shaun Ritchie and James Daniel Pugh stole raw gold ore, valued at $270,000, a safe, and a front-end loader to move the gold in a mine in WA's Goldfields in April.

According to police, two further four-wheel-drive vehicles were also stolen from the site and used to transport the safe and block an access road.

"The safe was located after a member of the public reported suspicious activity and explosions in bushland between Kambalda and Kalgoorlie," a police spokesperson said.

Police also allege one of the men has links to the Gypsy Joker outlaw motorcycle gang.

'Gold fingerprinting'

Chris King of the Gold Detective Unit, the only dedicated gold theft unit in the Australia, said a complex process was undertaken to analyse the gold recovered by police.

He said they had found gold at four different locations, which he believed came from the mine robbed in April.

A process known as gold fingerprinting was used to analyse samples to determine if they came from the one mine site.

"The principle of gold fingerprinting is to look at the cocktail of trace elements present in the gold ... and compare those with samples provided by the mine," John Watling, chief scientist at Source Certain, said.

The alleged robbery is the latest in a long line of outlandish gold thefts from mines in the region.

The three men are facing several charges including aggravated burglary, criminal damage, drug possession and unlicensed possession of ammunition.

They are on bail to reappear at Kalgoorlie Magistrates Court in July and August.


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