Clement Augustus Cornes: the discoverer of the Tui Mines
Hart, P. (2016). Clement Augustus Cornes: the discoverer of the Tui Mines. (Te Aroha Mining District Working papers, No. 108). Hamilton, New Zealand: University of Waikato, Historical Research Unit.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/10440
Clem Cornes was one of the most prominent Hauraki miners from the start of mining there until his death in 1906. He was also notable for a complicated, if unpublicized, private life resulting from his wife’s bigamy (or trigamy?). He prospected and mined on most Hauraki fields and was regarded as a highly competent mine manager. At Te Aroha, he was involved in the initial rush, and became famous for discovering the Champion lode in the Tui portion of that district, which never became as successful as hoped because a method of treating its complex ores profitably had not been discovered. To support his family, Cornes was also a contractor and, for many years, a farmer, but despite all his efforts he was never financially secure. He was prominent in the community throughout his life, being elected to various local bodies and even standing for parliament, briefly (he was a lifelong Liberal). He stood up for the interests of the mining industry, and also protected his own interests; like many other miners, he tried to acquire others’ claims on questionable grounds. As Cornes was famous for his sense of humour, it is possible to detect more of his personality than for most miners of his day.
Historical Research Unit, University of Waikato
© 2016 Philip Hart