Thursday, May 26, 2011

Batteries of the Hauraki District

At the Treasury you will find two new folders on BATTERIES OF THE HAURAKI DISTRICT.  A work in progress aimed at gathering information about the stamper batteries that existed on the goldfields. A growing resource gathering what information is available, where to find photos and details on the batteries.

It has been a massive learning curve! Family researchers often find it hard to find out info on their relatives mining endeavours, hopefully this is a start to making the process easier.  The key being, that we welcome contributions from anyone who may have information on batteries (and also Claims and Mining Companies).

Note that terminology changed and BATTERIES/STAMPER BATTERIES, could also be called MACHINES or MILLS, plus there were also TAILING PLANTS. The Te Ara site has a wonderful video of a stamper in action; one can only imagine how deafening the noise must have been in Thames township at the height of the mining boom! Also explained at the Te Ara site is how the gold on the Coromandel was generally processed:
Machines called stamper batteries, which crushed quartz into powder, were set up in the Coromandel ranges. Most mines were steadily producing ore, but the recovery methods were highly inefficient (only 45% of the gold and barely any silver was recovered).

Here are the batteries A - B gathered so far.
Ajax Battery Tairua
Albion Battery Grahamstown
Alburnia Battery Moanataiari
Alma Battery Tairua
Alpha Gold Mining Company Battery Waitekauri
Anchor Battery Thames
Arrundell Syndicate Battery Karaka
Atlas Battery Karaka
Aurora Battery Tararu
Australasian Battery Waiotahi
Ballarat And Clunes Battery Tararu Creek
Bedford Battery Hape Creek
Bendigo Battery Waiorongomai
Bennett's Battery Coromandel
Berdan Battery Thames
Bleazard's Battery Thames
Break O'Day Battery Thames
Brighton Battery Waiotahi
Brissenden And Co Battery Thames
Broken Hills Battery Tairua
Brown And Campbells Battery Tararu
Buckland's Battery Tapu
Bull's Battery Karaka Creek

 A side effect of having all these batteries and all the potential GOLD was robbery!! The papers have examples of attempts both successful and unsuccessful of gold robberies. 

Attempted Robbery at May Queen Battery
19 August 1907 Thames Star

Russell's Gold Battery on Tararu Creek 1885
Alexander Turnbull Library

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