Three prospecting quad bikers who had driven from north of Laverton to find missing prospector Michael Keith Graham have abandoned the search after two days and numerous requests to leave the search area.

Steve Fisher, a full-time prospector, said the quad bikes operating in a v-shaped formation had covered 1000km and travelled east from the mill where the 46-year-old tourist had left SOS signs more than a week ago, towards the Menzies-Lenora Highway, and then south about the shores of Lake Ballard.

They left water bottles dotted about the scrub but found no sign of the man who has now been missing for more than a fortnight.

On the way out, the men passed two Kalgoorlie-Boulder-based prospectors driving a 4WD Polaris ranger and commencing their own search.

The quad bikers had attracted the ire of police who had been using specialist trackers and powerful night-time imaging equipment.

Following the suspension of the police search on Monday night, Superintendent Darren Seivwright said police were happy for civilians to search, provided they did not enter the Jupiter mining tenement, and they had the consent of Riverina Station and adequate survival gear.

He added the searchers “need to be realistic” about the father of two still being found alive.

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