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The Diary of James Brogden, August 1871 – December 1872

1 February 1872

1 February 1872

page 52

Since my last I have visited the Thames Gold Fields, visited the Crushing Mills, Graham Town walked and inspected the workings of the Caledonian and Tookey Mine. The Caledonian appeared to be worked out, and the shares have declined from £220 to £16. I walked up the incline to see the Wire Rope Tramway at work and over the Hill, from which the view of the Valley of the Thames is pretty. The growth of this District within 3 years is marvellous, - The Inhabitants now number upward of 20,000 and as an instance of their enterprise, the Theatre holding 1500 persons, was built in a week. On my return to Auckland, I met Dr Hirsch, who is much interested in working the tailings. The operations at these Gold Fields would be much facilitated by a cheap and abundant supply of Water from a system of Water Works, thus enabling the cleansing of the alluvial deposits to be carried on more regularly. According to their present system of working 9 to 10 dwt. of Gold per ton must be obtained to cover cost but if water were to be conducted thereto, it is said that 3 to 4 darts would pay – 2/9 being the value for 1 dwt. of gold. In extracting the reef the cost would be about 5/- per ton. As the 2/9 obtainable for the gold pays well for carriage, crushing and washing if the Stamping Machines are near the pit, the surplus would be profit. With large holdings much greater results are realised with more certainty. It is said that the Gold has cost £5 per oz – including all moneys squandered, and lost, and expended, and has only yielded £3-15-0 per oz – when realised. Dunny took great interest in all the operations, and gold samples.