An Australian prospector, Harry Lasseter claimed in 1897 he had discovered an outcrop in the Petermann Range of central Australia which contained a rich vein of gold. The existence of this would have been scorned, like many similar tales from prospectors, but for the possession of samples which he claimed came from the reef.

As a result of his efforts, Lasseter was able to persuade some people to send an expedition into the area with himself as guide in 1930. The expedition was a disaster; the motor vehicles used by the party were unsuitable for the terrain and the supporting aircraft had mechanical problems. Finally Lasseter decided to continue alone and died in the interior. Later his body was said to have been found and buried by a local man who recovered Lasseter's diary.

Despite lack of supporting evidence, interest in locating the reef has increased over the years. Other expeditions attempted to find the reef, and as recently as 1970 a search was made by a man who claimed that Lasseter's diary contained coded directions for finding the outcrop. He was unsuccessful.

Geologists who have investigated the area claim that there are no indications of gold-bearing rock where Lasseter said he found the reef.