The new find mine at Waiorongomai
Hart, P. (2016). The new find mine at Waiorongomai. (Te Aroha Mining District Working papers, No. 84). Hamilton, New Zealand: University of Waikato, Historical Research Unit.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/10402
Hone Werahiko and his party, who owned the original New Find claims, undertook the preliminary development of what was universally praised as a valuable property. The large outcrop and the highest levels, driven through steep and rough country, were relatively easy to work, but were high above the county tramway. Encouraging sampling was proved to be correct when crushing commenced, leading to further development, with a series of new levels and connections between the same being driven. But despite hopes of establishing a permanently profitable mine, over time the financial returns declined, particularly because of excessive battery costs and a treatment process that lost an unacceptable percentage of the gold. As the mine workings became larger, incoming water and poor ventilation created problems for miners. To reduce costs, contractors increasingly replaced wages men, but by 1886, with output declining, more efforts were made to lower costs further. The New Find Company would pay more dividends than any other company on this field. As usual, it was under-capitalized, and as the mine declined so did the share values. Observers urged it to erect its own battery rather than just provide work for the Battery Company, which, after the company collapsed in 1887, acquired its property. The new owners did more development, but, as most of the free-milling ore had been extracted, mining stopped in 1889. Subsequent owners did some more work, but, lacking capital, they sought (and obtained) a small amount of government assistance. Mining revived, briefly, during the boom of 1895, and although there were subsequent plans to reopen the ground it remained abandoned. The nature of the mine, with its 100-metre deep stope open to the sky, meant some accidents, but none were fatal.
Historical Research Unit, University of Waikato
© 2016 Philip Hart