Hardy’s Mines Ltd, of Waiorongomai
Hart, P. (2016). Hardy’s Mines Ltd, of Waiorongomai. (Te Aroha Mining District Working papers, No. 100). Hamilton, New Zealand: University of Waikato, Historical Research Unit.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/10432
Hardy’s Mines Ltd was formed on 30 April l904 to acquire all Edwin Henry Hardy’s mining properties. Because of his experience, Hardy was to supervise the work for the first three years of the company’s existence. Details are provided of the directors and shareholders, who included experienced businessmen from many places in New Zealand. Immediately upon its formation, the company had to undertake a considerable amount of dead work and to improve the battery before it could extract and process the ore. Much prospecting and testing was done, but only a small amount of gold was treated. Nevertheless, hopes were high during 1904 and 1905, and concentrates were tested in Australia. Being, as was the norm, under-capitalized, increasingly the company faced financial difficulties, and in 1906 most work ceased and the mines were protected because the payable ore had run out. In that year, Hardy ceased to be the supervisor. Exploration had proved that the lode below where he had extracted good ore was unpayable, being increasingly refractory and therefore expensive to treat. Once the capital was exhausted, further capital was sought, including in England. The company was reconstructed in 1907, but continued to be under-capitalized. It was hoped that a new low-level drive, known as McLean’s level, would strike good ore below the existing Colonist workings, but driving this took several years and the hoped-for valuable ore did not exist. A new company was formed in 1910, which continued to extend McLean’s level and to test any ore struck, all the while hoping to sell its property. Although mining had ceased, some income was received through treating the tailings using cyanide. When it was discovered that the mine manager had extended McLean’s level in the wrong direction, this work was abandoned, especially because assays revealed that earlier ones had been ‘misleading’. The company abandoned its property in 1924.
Historical Research Unit, University of Waikato
© 2016 Philip Hart