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GOLD DREDGE IN NEW ZEALAND

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GOLD DREDGE IN NEW ZEALAND

Postby aukepalmhof » Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:40 pm

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The lure of gold is universal, and the mass fever which it produced in the 1850s had a considerable effect on the development and the destinies of the newly settled countries of the Southern Hemisphere. The first discoveries of gold in New Zealand were made in 1852, but gold mining did not become of prime importance until 1861 when Gabriel Read discovered in Otago an alluvial field of great richness. This became known as Gabriel's Gully. Gold was found later in Westland.
Source: New Zealand Post website.

Bucket dredges in New Zealand.
In 1868 the bucket dredge was developed. A series of buckets on a long chain continuously dug up gravel. Originally these were powered by wheels turned by the river’s current. In 1881 the first steam-powered dredges were used on the Clutha River, and electric-powered dredges arrived in 1890. These could also be used in ponds away from the main river channel, allowing old river channels to be worked.
In 1888, the Chinese businessman Charles Sew Hoy of Dunedin ordered a steam-powered bucket dredge to be built in a Dunedin foundry. It had a string of buckets on a ladder that could be lowered to the river bed and onto river flats on the shore. It was immediately successful on the lower Shotover River. This is considered to be the prototype for the New Zealand style of dredge. Gradually this design and variations of it proved to be adept at removing gold from river beds or artificial ponds on river flats. By the 1890s Dunedin was at the forefront of gold-dredge design and it was not long before New Zealand-style dredges were being successfully used overseas.

Boom years
Over the next 20 years, hundreds of dredges recovered tens of thousands of ounces of gold from the beds of Otago’s rivers and old river channels. A dredging boom that reached its zenith about 1900 was characterized by the use of many small dredges. In 1900 there were 228 dredges working in Otago and Southland. By contrast, a second boom in the 1930s and 1940s saw a few large, powerful dredges.
Dredging created unique local landscapes such as the Earnscleugh tailings near Alexandra. Essentially they are piles of stones – in Otago’s dry climate, vegetation has not covered them.

West Coast dredging
Dredges worked the West Coast in lesser numbers – an estimated 150 dredges mined there. It was, however, where they remained in use the longest. From 1956 the KANIERE, a large bucket dredge that employed 38 men, worked the Taramakau valley before moving to the Grey River, where it dug up gravels near Blackball and Ngahere. The Grey River dredge, New Zealand’s last big dredge operation, won its last gold in 2004.
When the dredge was not more used, most were dismantled and shipped to Malaysia, where she was used in the tin mining.

https://teara.govt.nz/en/gold-and-gold-mining/page-8
New Zealand 1940 9d sg624, scott?
aukepalmhof
 
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