160 results for Hart, Philip, Working or discussion paper

  • Physical and mental health issues in the Te Aroha district

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Although Te Aroha was considered to be a healthy district, until the early twentieth century it lacked clean water or adequate sanitation. There were justifiable fears of typhus and other diseases being created by these lacks and by the common ‘nuisances’ caused by unsanitary behaviour. Many people had a poor diet, which was normal for men undertaking prospecting far from their homes. For miners, their working conditions were always unhealthy, and miners’ complaint was common, affecting battery hands also. Medical services remained inadequate until the twentieth century because doctors could not settle for long (for financial reasons) and there was no local hospital. Some doctors, nurses, and dentists visited, but the seriously ill had to be sent out of the district. For injuries, chemists and nurses did their best, as did a dubiously skilled local doctor. Self-medication was common. Examples are given of breakdowns in mental health, which sometimes led to physical attacks on others or to suicide.

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  • John Squirrell: a farmer and storekeeper who mined (briefly) at Te Aroha

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    An English merchant’s clerk, some years after his wife’s death John Squirrell brought his sister and daughters to New Zealand to settle in the new Shaftesbury settlement, upriver from Te Aroha. His letters to English relatives provided details of their experiments with growing a variety of produce, which they sold locally or sent to the Auckland. He also took over a store, running it with the assistance of one of his daughters and struggling to obtain payment from customers before refusing to sell on credit. A leading member of the small Shaftesbury community, he did his best to assist its development. In 1888 a blacksmith and sometime miner, James Munro, convinced him to prospect ground in the Tui portion of the goldfield. Again, his letters provided details of their amateur and short-term, unprofitable efforts; lacking capital to open up their ground, it was soon abandoned. His investments in Waiorongomai mines were equally unprofitable. In 1892 Squirrell acquired land at another settlement, at Gordon, further upriver. He struggled to develop this farm, and was involved in conflicts with other members of the settlement, especially after he became secretary of the association. He continued to farm elsewhere, and became involved in early dairy companies, again becoming caught up in controversy. A man holding strong opinions on a variety of topics, and very willing to express them, he regarded himself as a radical but opposed the Liberal Government. In his personal life he had to cope with two daughters suffering from mental problems, one of them being admitted to the asylum. He spent all his life attempting to provide for his family, only attaining a modest standard of living.

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  • Lavinia and Henry Dunbar Johnson

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Rawinia Manukau, of Ngati Tamatera, married Henry Dunbar Johnson in 1868, when aged 21. Johnson had been a storekeeper at Coromandel from 1863 onwards and after 1866 had the first store at the site of the future Paeroa. In both places, but particularly in the latter, there was always the fear of conflict with the local Maori population, despite his being protected by a rangatira. After spending time at the new Thames goldfield, from 1871 onwards he was a partner in another Paeroa store, being able to erect a house because a rangatira related to his wife wished her to settle there. Lavinia (as she was known to Pakeha) obtained interests in several blocks of land in Ohinemuri, and her husband also acquired some land for a farm. He prospected Karangahake mountain from 1866 onwards, despite Maori opposition, and in 1875 and the following year actively mined there, unprofitably; Lavinia was not involved with this field, but did acquire interests in two claims when the Te Aroha one opened. A petty squabble with a Thames neighbour resulted in Lavinia telling the latter to go back to England – she was feisty in defending her heritage. Through his marriage and close contact with Maori, Johnson understood and admired the Maori language, leading to his being appointed a licensed interpreter in 1872. After being a leading pioneer of Paeroa, in 1879 he went to Wellington to work in the Native Office, leaving his wife and family behind for a while; after then she was employed by Pakeha as a nurse and midwife. In 1885 Johnson was appointed to oversee the development of Rotorua, where he attempted to have Maori children educated (as his own were) and had to cope with the aftermath of the 1886 Tarawera eruption. Retrenched in 1888, he farmed for a while on his wife’s land at Te Aroha West, becoming involved in local issues and local politics. During the 1890 he obtained more official positions, and from 1896 to 1906 was a land court judge. The Johnson family was well integrated into the dominant culture, all his daughters marrying Pakeha apart from one who married a ‘half-caste’ who had been brought up as a Pakeha. Johnson was not a Pakeha Maori in the original sense, but was accepted by Maori when living in Paeroa and as a judge tried to be kind to poverty-stricken Maori, although in time he viewed Maori as becoming lazy compared with those he had lived amongst during his first two decades in New Zealand.

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  • Thomas William Carr: a Te Aroha storekeeper and speculator

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Thomas William Carr arrived in New Zealand in January 1881 accompanied by his large family and, reportedly, with extensive business experience and a large amount of capital. After first settling at Gisborne he moved to Te Aroha in mid-1882, acquiring land in the township and nearby and establishing stores at Te Aroha, Waiorongomai, Quartzville, and Shaftesbury. He was involved in a variety of commercial activities, and invested in local mining. He was also prominent in the community in general, including in the Anglican Church. In early 1883, it all fell apart. After being adjudged bankrupt, he was shown to have been careless and indeed reckless in running his businesses; and instead of having large amounts of capital at his disposal, he had started with no capital at all, prompting suggestions of fraudulent dealings. After others acquired his properties and businesses, he fled New Zealand to try his luck in Australia, where he was much more successful. Others involved with him also went bankrupt, for his bankruptcy was by no means unusual.

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  • The mining boom of the 1890s in general and in Hauraki in particular

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    By the 1890s, mining had slowed down and New Zealand in general was economically depressed. Large amounts of capital could only be obtained from London, where exploration companies were formed to investigate potential goldfields, but, as usual, most investors were after quick profits. The mining boom started in 1894 on the Rand in South Africa, then attention turned to Western Australia in the following year, and by 1896 it was New Zealand’s turn, where overseas capital was made very welcome, for without it large-scale mining development was not possible. As both vendors and investors sought to exploit the industry for their own benefit, there were fears that a brief boom would handicap rather than assist it. Over-capitalized companies were formed, with vendors and company promoters exploiting the system, including by insider trading, although because of the risks involved some did not make the profits expected. Overseas ‘experts’ were used to puff mines, as many investors understood, for in England there was no rush by ordinary investors to acquire shares. In New Zealand speculators made quick profits by gambling on the share market in a manner compared to horse racing. The New Zealand boom is traced from its beginnings in 1895 to its fading away as wild cats collapsed in 1897. Although some people blamed government policy for the boom not continuing, more commonly the gambling fever was seen as the cause, for many mining properties placed on the market had no possibility of success. Yet in the short term there were benefits for the industry, sometimes because lessons were learnt and mistakes understood. In general, it was a pegging-out boom rather than a mining boom.

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  • Company formation in the Te Aroha mining district in the 1930s

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    During the early years of the Depression, a few investors sought to form companies to rework almost every portion of the Te Aroha Mining District. Some flotations failed, and even when companies were formed very little work was done. A wide variety of people were promoters and investors, very few of whom had any mining knowledge or access to capital. Competition for ground and low commercial morality led to conflicts and exaggerated claims (notably that Te Aroha’s lodes were linked to Karangahake and Waihi). The Mines Department, anxious to prevent misinformation about these ventures being used to extract money from the gullible and also anxious to defend the industry from harm, was concerned about fraudulent assays and misleading reports from self-proclaimed ‘experts’. All these under-capitalized ventures quickly failed, for what little development took place quickly revealed the poverty of the ore. These syndicates and companies are dealt with chronologically.

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  • Prospectors and investors in the Te Aroha mining district during the 1930s

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    This paper gives the ages, occupations, places of residence, mining experience, and all other details that have been unearthed about all but one of the men who acquired prospecting licenses during the Depression, along with five men who prospected for others. Malcolm Hardy and those associated with him are covered in another paper. In some cases a mini-biography can be given, but usually the available information permits only a skeletal outline of their lives. Few had experience of mining, and in almost all cases their prospecting or investing reflected a desperate attempt to make some money at a time of considerable financial hardship. Their often feeble attempts at prospecting or arranging for prospecting to be done produced no new discoveries and no ore of any value. Their lives and details of the extent of their involvement in mining are dealt with in alphabetical order.

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  • An overview of mining in the Te Aroha mining district from the turn of the twentieth century until the start of the depression

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Apart from the mines owned by Edwin Henry Hardy, mining at Waiorongomai stagnated in the early twentieth century. During its first decade attention largely switched to the Tui district, with new treatment processes promising better results, but, as usual, raising capital was difficult and the government was asked to assist. A mining revival was constantly anticipated, especially by the local newspaper, and for the first time base metals were also investigated. Prospecting encompassed new areas, with the Mangakino Valley and the top of the mountain being investigated more thoroughly than previously. In 1913, the battery was destroyed in a fire but was replaced. During that decade and the subsequent one, mining faded away to almost nothing, and only the onset of the Depression caused any revival.

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  • The New Zealand Exploration Company and Aroha Gold Mines Ltd: the last introduction of overseas capital to Waiorongomai

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    The Paris and London Rothschilds became involved in mining investments in the late nineteenth century, in 1886 forming the Exploration Company, which subsequently formed subsidiary companies to develop promising fields. Two men were fundamental to the formation of the New Zealand Exploration Company and Aroha Gold Mines: James de Hirsch and Jules George Wilson, and full details of their lives, in particular in New Zealand, are provided. In 1895, as the mining boom started, de Hirsch, encouraged by Wilson, wanted to develop the Thames low levels but soon abandoned this idea and became interested in Waiorongomai. After an Australian expert, Edward John Dunn, produced an optimistic report, a syndicate was formed that negotiated with the vendors. Full details are provided of the founders, directors, and shareholders (almost all living outside New Zealand) in both companies and of the New Zealand mining properties they acquired. At Waiorongomai, existing mines were further tested and opened up between 1895 and 1898, but because the anticipated high value ore was not found and also because of the costs, a new low level drive through the entire field was commenced. The battery was also reconstructed and an experimental cyanide plant added. Because of discouraging results along with the deaths of both Wilson and de Hirsch, the companies abandoned the Waiorongomai field. As so often, government policies and taxes were blamed for this outcome, although wiser commentators noted that the companies were not set up to benefit New Zealand rather than their shareholders. The departure of the companies and their capital set the field back significantly.

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  • Mining in the Te Aroha mining district during the depression years

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Because optimists believed there was payable gold still to be discovered in New Zealand, prospecting was seen as one way of soaking up the unemployed, and a subsidized scheme was established to assist those willing to try their luck. In the Te Aroha district, residents, despite their lack of geological knowledge, and supported by the local newspaper, held great hopes for a mining revival. In contrast, officials and the experts they consulted insisted that these hopes were in vain. After local businessmen and would-be prospectors exerted political pressure on the Minister of Mines, in whose electorate Te Aroha was situated, permission was granted to subsidize parties of amateur prospectors. Despite none of these parties finding anything worthwhile, the amateurs continued to claim to know more about the prospects than the experts. Some of the parties did little work, and as it was clear to officials that the subsidies were being wasted, these ceased, despite continued claims about potential discoveries. Some parties continued work, sometimes with private backing, prompting concerns about speculators trying to obtain ground. When a Labour Government came to power, it was no more willing than its predecessor to waste public money on fruitless prospecting. It was clear from the assays taken for both prospectors and experts that the value of the ore left by earlier miners was far too poor to permit a revival in mining, and on that note mining ceased at Waiorongomai

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  • Edwin Henry Hardy: a Waiorongomai mine owner

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Edwin Henry Hardy worked as a surveyor before going to England to study mining. Upon his return in 1896 he was a representative in Hauraki of English mining companies and supervised several Coromandel mines in addition to acquiring mines in several districts for overseas interests. In late 1898 he purchased the former Aroha Gold Mines’ property at Waiorongomai, which he developed using his own financial resources but probably backed by his wider family. Using his surveying skills, he traced a reef missed by previous owners, and commenced to develop the mines systematically. He also spent several years improving the battery, experimenting with new treatment processes and seeking a patent for a gold saving method. Like all mine owners, Hardy tried to work his property as cheaply as possible, resulting in conflicts with the Thames High School and the county council as he tried to reduce costs. He proved to be very determined in his rows with those he considered his enemies. In addition to developing the Premier mine, profitably, he tested other ground, notable the Big Blow. He supervised both battery and mines, but as he did not have a mine manager’s certificate had to employ a series of managers for the latter. After obtaining a good return for several years, in 1904 he formed Hardy’s Mines Ltd, retaining a financial interest and for a time supervising its work before becoming involved with other mines and clashing with the company he had formed. Hardy also held interests in mining companies in other districts. After leaving Waiorongomai, he settled in Te Kuiti and worked as a surveyor, a purchaser of Maori land, and a farmer. As at Coromandel and Waiorongomai, he was prominent in the local community, notably as a member of the borough council and Te Kuiti’s second mayor. Over time, his financial state deteriorated, partly through being involved with some very dubious businessmen and their schemes. In 1931 he returned to Waiorongomai to show his son Malcolm where he knew of some good ore, but died in dramatic circumstances before he could show him the location. For some time Hardy profited from mining, partly because he took over existing workings and partly because he was able to find ore that others had missed, but as with all mining, profits faded and he had to find other ways to earn a living. But compared with other mine owners at Waiorongomai, he was, for a time, very successful.

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  • William Morris Newsham: a prospector and miner in the Te Aroha district

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    New Zealand-born William Morris Newsham fought against Maori without suffering any mishaps, but when aged 35 had the most perilous experience of his life. When assisting to survey a potential railway line in the King Country, he was captured by one prophet, Te Mahuki, and rescued by another, Te Kooti, after a harsh ordeal. After mining at Coromandel and Thames, in 1889 he settled in the Te Aroha district, taking whatever work was available. For the remainder of his life he was a small-scale miner, tributer, prospector, and operator of battery and tailings plants. Most of the 1890s was spent on the Waiorongomai field, but in the early twentieth century he explored nearby, his most notable claims being the Pick and Dish, close to the summit of Te Aroha. All his mining was done in small mining parties, sometimes backed by local small businessmen. He never ceased to search for gold, but found little of value, and achieved only a modest return from all his hard work.

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  • Charles Manuel: a miner and farmer in the Te Aroha district

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Born in Cornwall, Charles Manuel claimed to have mined from an early age. From 1876 onwards he mined at and near Thames, one notably experience being ‘gassed’ during a rescue attempt in the Caledonian mine. Although from the 1880s and until the end of his life he also farmed and took up a variety of contracts, he never abandoned mining, becoming a mine manager in 1896 and working on several Hauraki fields into the early twentieth century. To defend his interests in one mine, he threatened rivals with a revolver. His brother-in-law, William Deeble, was associated with him in various activities, notably on the Thames County Council, where they were a disruptive element. In 1900 he became a farmer in the Piako district, and in 1908 became involved in Waiorongomai mining, obtaining claims and being a director of the Bendigo and Seddon companies. A colleague in these mining ventures was John Endean, along with his wife and son. As a member of the Piako County Council he worked hard for the community, as usual, but also as usual was pugnacious and difficult to work with. In politics, also, he always spoke his mind. A hard worker in his private affairs and public issues, he was successful financially.

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  • The Bendigo battery: the last Waiorongomai battery

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    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.

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  • Malcolm hardy: the last Waiorongomai miner

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Malcolm Hardy was notable for his artistic skills but not for his dynamism until becoming interested in gold mining during the 1920s. A self-taught geologist, he was enthusiastic about the prospects for finding gold, but was also completely wrong and thoroughly pig-headed about the wondrous outcome he anticipated. In 1931, his father, Edwin Henry Hardy, took him to Waiorongomai to show him the spot where good gold could still be found, but died before reaching it. Undeterred, Hardy acquired several claims and set about re-opening old workings and doing some prospecting, being assisted by a few others off and on. Hardy was notable for his assertions of having traced millions of tons of payable ore – and for demanding government assistance to test and work these – but his special pleading and misrepresentations exasperated officials and experts. In response to their criticisms and failures to see the glowing prospects he proclaimed, he accused them of incompetence and bias, ignoring the fact that all the assays and tests disproved his claims. Attempts to obtain financial backing had little success, and a company, Hardy’s Mines, established in 1940, was stillborn. Even Hardy abandoned active mining during the 1940s, but he encouraged the Auckland Smelting Company and then South Pacific Mines to explore all the mountain, insisting, despite all the evidence, that Te Aroha would become a leading mining centre.

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  • The Tui Mines: a portion of the Te Aroha mining district

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    After initial interest in it during the initial rush, the Tui portion of the Te Aroha field was largely ignored until Clem Cornes made a discovery in 1885 that produced great hopes for obtaining gold and silver. Investors were quickly interested, but raising sufficient capital was a continual problem; although in time British investors became involved, all the syndicates and companies were under-funded. In addition, there was no agreed method to treat the refractory ore, which was heavily impregnated with base metals, and several processes were tried without success. In addition, the topography of the area required the construction of an access track and, in 1889, of an aerial tramway to transport ore from high on the mountain to the flat. As usual, financial assistance from both local and national governments was sought, and a small amount was received. Many people were involved as prospectors, miners, investors, and treatment ‘experts’, but despite their efforts the early hopes were never fulfilled. By mid-1888 mining had faded because of the lack of a successful process, and although some London-based companies would be formed in later years, capital remained inadequate and development was minimal, for the basic reason that no suitable treatment had been discovered for the low-grade and complex ore.

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  • Hardy’s Mines Ltd, of Waiorongomai

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    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.

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  • Clement Augustus Cornes: the discoverer of the Tui Mines

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    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.

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  • Edward Cameron: a mine manager in the Tui Mines

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Edward (Ned) Cameron was an experienced miner before settling in New Zealand, where he worked on the Thames goldfield in many mines and becoming a mine manager. He also mined on other Hauraki fields, in particular Waiorongomai after 1881 and Tui after 1885. In both, he managed several mines and undertook a considerable amount of prospecting, anticipating good results that were not achieved (or achievable). As with others who worked in the Te Aroha district, his efforts were defeated by the low quality of the ore, and although he earned sufficient to make a satisfactory living, he did not prosper.

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  • Joseph Campbell and his thermo-hyperphoric process

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Joseph Campbell was both an Anglican clergyman and a scientist, with a preference for the latter. Actively involved in educating the masses in scientific matters, and particularly those, like miners, with particular problems to overcome, he was a rather shameless self-publicist, insisting that he could solve most things. Sometimes he was correct, and his practical advice was valued, especially in the last phase of his life. After Alfred Andrew Lockwood developed a method of treating refractory Te Aroha ore, Campbell modified it, naming it the thermo-hyperphoric process. After inspecting Hauraki mines in 1896, he later settled at Te Aroha to test his process on a large scale. Great success was promised, with claims being made that he could save most of the assay value of the ore in a process superior to any other. Other miners along with geologists were critical of his claims and of his understanding of the geology, but he ignored them. The Montezuma Company was formed in London to fund the development of mines mostly between Tui and Te Aroha, and to erect his plant. Despite his promises, his plant failed, to great local disappointment. In addition to trialing ore treatment, Campbell also experimented in other areas. After leaving Te Aroha and focusing for a time on being a clergyman, he settled in North Queensland, remaining there until his death trying to solve a variety of problems facing primary producers, sometimes with success. To the end of his life he claimed to be an expert in a myriad of fields, and ignored all his critics.

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