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The Bendigo battery: the last Waiorongomai battery

The Bendigo Battery was erected to treat ore from the mine of the same name, which was worked on a small scale, with the usual reportedly encouraging prospects, during the early twentieth century. Its site had been selected for a batter in previous decades but never used. The Bendigo Company was, as usual, under-capitalized, but some of its shareholders had experience of mining and must have optimistically expected successful share trading if not mining. But it struggled to obtain calls and meet its debts. The company’s small-scale mining was sufficiently encouraging for it to commence work on its battery in 1909. Progress was very slow, handicapped by legal squabbles, and it did not commence operations until late 1911. Full details are provided of the machinery and processes used. It quickly proved to be unprofitable and was abandoned in 1913, for which the poverty of the ore rather than the treatment process was most to blame. From 1914 onwards, others took over the ground, doing some more prospecting and modifying the treatment, notably by introducing the oil flotation process. After the late 1920s it was no longer used, although its last owner still hoped to make more improvements. After he died, the machinery was stolen.
Working Paper
Type of thesis
Te Aroha Mining District Working Papers
Hart, P. (2016). The Bendigo battery: the last Waiorongomai battery. (Te Aroha Mining District Working papers, No. 101). Hamilton, New Zealand: University of Waikato, Historical Research Unit.
Historical Research Unit, University of Waikato
© 2016 Philip Hart