Monday, December 29, 2014

Thames (NZ): Halcyon Goldmine Karaka Creek

There were hundreds and hundreds of claims on the Thames Goldfield. One of the busiest areas was up the Karaka. One such claim was the HALCYON.  The Thames Miners' Guide reads: THE HALCYON GOLD MINING COMPANY, Karaka Creek. Nominal capital £5,000 in 1,000 shares of £5 each. Amount paid up £2,500. Application to register, July, 1868. Interim Manager, T. B. Gipps.

In Downey's book, Gold-Mines of the Hauraki District an overview of the claim is given. Located above the Hokianga Claim, the Halcyon Claim was initially worked by "a company of the same name, which erected a battery on it, and is said to have some good returns." From 1877 to 1880 the claim was worked as the Karaka. The claim then was not worked again until 1891. Later in 1906 another Halycon Gold-mining Company was formed to work the claim - with only a yield of 64oz bullion, valued at 170 Pounds!
 
Description: View of the Halcyon Gold Mining Company, Karaka Creek, Thames photographed by an unknown photographer in the 1870s.
The claim existed until 1877 when its name changed to the Karaka. In 1868 Reverend Viscesimus Lush, the first vicar of Thames, visited the claim. The name reverted to Halcyon in 1906.
Reference: 1/2-065411-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22300370
 Below, an enlargement of the Halcyon Goldmine Company buildings, Karaka Creek, Thames.

Downey records the yields for the claim up to 1933 as:
1,903 Tons of Quartz crushed
826 oz. of Bullion yielded.
Total value of Bullion, 2,381 Pounds.

A description and map of the location of the mine is in D Wilton's article on the Lucky Hit Creek. "The DSC of 19 October 1869 notes: 'We are glad to note the Halcyon machine (approx 1km downstream of the junction of the Lucky Hit and Karaka streams) at work on several lots of quartz taken out of the Golden Bar claim, Lucky Hit Spur' and: 'The reports to hand from the Star of Fermanagh, Lucky Hit Spur, are most favourable.' The article finally went on to note: 'In conjunction with the adjoining Adelaide Company, the Lucky Hit Company has constructed a road and tramway along which to convey quartz to the Lucky Hit machine.'"
 Reference:
Downey, J F; Gold-Mines of the Hauraki District, 1935

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