1,758 results for Working or discussion paper

  • 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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  • 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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  • Waiorongomai Township

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    When gold was discovered at Waiorongomai, a settlement was quickly established, to the delight of the Thames High School Governors, who anticipated a good return from their swampy farmland. Shops, hotels, and a school were erected, but the growth soon tailed off, and apart from brief mining revivals the settlement declined steadily until totally vanishing in the twentieth century: so much for its hopes of being larger than Te Aroha. Typically, residents struggled with poor access, poor roads, and poor footpaths – although they did have one of the first telephone lines in New Zealand. There were regular complaints that the school board neglected the settlement, and for a time there was much debate about whether to join Te Aroha in a new borough. During the nineteenth century, pigs in particular were complained about, and in the next century noxious weeds spread across abandoned residence and business sites. When this happened, local farmers sought to acquire these sections, but as a few miners insisted that mining would revive, some were retained for the anticipated miners (who never came). During its existence, residents enjoyed quite an active social life, with sports, meetings, ‘rinking’, dances, and concerts and other entertainments in the public hall. Locals organized most of these activities, but occasional visitors provided some – and as Te Aroha was so close it was easy to attend entertainments there. But by the early twentieth century this social life faded away as the settlement did.

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  • Living in the bush and at Quartzville, high on the hillside above Waiorongomai

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    To avoid a long walk to and from work, some miners lived in whare scattered in the bush but close to the upper road between Waiorongomai village and the mines, and at the small settlement of Quartzville. In addition, some companies provided a small number of shanties for single men, some of which would be re-used in the 1930s. A few huts were erected in the Tui district. At Quartzville during the 1880s, several shopkeepers set up shop, receiving goods daily from Waiorongomai. There was also a post office and a small boarding house, but no licensed premises were permitted. By the end of the nineteenth century this settlement, which had housed some families as well as single men, had disappeared. Living in these out-of-the-way places had several hazards, notably fires, falling trees, and a steep and slippery road that needed constant repair. Little entertainment was possible, although for a time there were sporting teams and occasional meetings. For much of the year climatic conditions must have made for unpleasant living conditions.

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  • Te Aroha township during the first rush: 1880-1881

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    The most exciting time for a mining township was during the first rush. At Te Aroha, canvas settlements appeared close to the hot pools and between the mountain and the river, and because of the high hopes for a payable field all the features of a permanent settlement soon appeared. Shops of all varieties were erected, the original hotel soon had competition, church sites were chosen, government offices appeared, and because so many of the settlers were family men a start was made to provide schooling and health care. Sport, horse racing, and other entertainments became part of social life, with the hot pools a particular focus for ‘rest and recreation’. Within a few months, more substantial buildings were erected (very necessary because of the high wind common to the district), better roads to and within the settlement were constructed, and a better punt across the river provided. As the prospects of the goldfield faded in 1881, so did the township, but the discovery of gold at Waiorongomai meant that it would quickly revive and indeed flourish.

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  • Te Aroha: 1882 to 1889

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Despite a dip in mid-decade, the population of Te Aroha steadily increased as mining continued, farms were developed, and the tourist trade commenced. Businessmen set up shop because of the high expectations held for the district, and the township became lively both commercially and socially. Its development in these years is covered partly chronologically and partly thematically. The increasing numbers of tourists visiting the hot baths, especially after the arrival of the railway, encouraged the erection of excellent hotels and boardinghouses. Although they enjoyed the scenery and the baths, they, like the locals, had to cope with badly maintained roads and footpaths, roaming animals (notably pigs), and occasional gales and fires. But a bridge replaced the punts, and local government in the form of the domain board and the town board gradually addressed the community’s needs, although grumbles continued about the tenure of town sections. And the town was well supplied with newspapers. An active social life was assisted by the erection of a library and a public hall, the latter being used for a wide variety of entertainments provided by both residents and visitors. Dances, ‘rinking’, and sports were popular, and strengthened a sense of community in this young township.

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  • Pollution and Norpac: a chronology to 1980; the legacy of the last mining done at Tui

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    This paper does not focus on the mining undertaken at Tui from the 1960s until Norpac ceased operating, but instead concentrates on its environmental impact. To clarify the struggles to prevent and then to rectify the pollution, the story is outlined chronologically. It is a story about a company seeking to avoid additional costs by evading, if possible, some of the environmental constraints that were imposed, and, once it abandoned the field, leaving the clean up to others. Not till the twenty-first century was the problem finally solved.

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  • Neighbourly and unneighbourly behaviour in the Te Aroha district

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    As is to be expected, many examples could be found of neighbourly and unneighbourly behaviour. Because of the nature of their work, miners and indeed settlers generally had to help each other, and ‘fair play’ was a desired ideal. Residents mingled at weddings, funerals, farewells, and patriotic socials. When people were in need, assistance was given and money was raised by special events, and when fires broke out, everyone did their best to save both life and property. Despite such neighbourly acts, there were plenty of examples of quarrelsome residents and rude behaviour. In small settlements, prying and gossiping were endemic. Disliked residents were mocked, some practical jokes were malicious, and some libels were spread. In particular, local government politics provoked much bitterness over minor matters, and rivalry between Te Aroha and Waiorongomai could be friendly in sport but unfriendly on some issues. A detailed example of one prominent resident, Charles Ahier, is provided to illustrate how a pillar of the community was vilified and how he vilified his critics. Newspapers sometimes provided biased reporting, fanning the flames of petty disputes. But overall, squabbles were outweighed by positive interactions.

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  • Te Aroha in the 1890s

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    During the 1890s the town slowly increased in size and became economically stronger despite mining, for most of this decade, no longer flourishing. Other occupations became more important, with farming and tending to the needs of tourists being pre-eminent. Residents continued to grumble over the need for improvements, the cost of housing, high rents, and a poor system of tenure, but the establishment of a borough meant that some more improvements could be provided. As the town developed the poor-quality buildings hastily erected in its early days were seen as disfiguring it, and gradually the streets and footpaths were improved. As previously, storms and fires were notable experiences, the latter revealing the need for a water supply and fire fighting equipment. And also as previously, there were many ways to enliven small town life in mostly respectable ways, notably the library, clubs, sports, horse racing, the Volunteers, and entertainments of all kinds, details of which illustrate the texture of social life. Despite disparaging remarks by outsiders, living at Te Aroha need not be as dull as was claimed.

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