The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Auckland Provincial District]
Blagroves Freehold Gold Mining Company, Ltd. This company was registered in London on the 4th of May, 1895, the purpose of its formation being to acquire from the Kapanga Gold Mining Company what was known as the Blagroves Freehold section of 125 acres, adjoining the “Kapanga” on the Coromandel Goldfield. The capital consisted of £62,500 in 500,000 shares of half-a-crown each. The payment to the vendors was as follows:—£37,500 payable, £25,000 in cash, and £12,500 in shares. The “Kapanga” shareholders were offered pro rata 250,000 shares, with the option of taking up more if they desired. £25,000 was set aside for a working capital. The “Blagroves Freehold” is to all intents and purposes a subsidiary of the “Kapanga,” and is virtually owned by the same proprietary. The directors are Messrs H. Wilson, F. Brewer, S. Goldsmid, C. Hartridge, and F. G. Lane. The London office is at Dashswood House, E.C., and the secretary is Mr. W. J. Lavington.
Mr. Albert Edward Argall, M.N.Z. Just. M.E., Mine Manager of the Blagroves Freehold Gold Mining Company, Ltd., was born in Cornwall, England, in 1860, and is the second son of the late Mr. William Argall, of St. Agnes, Cornwall. Mr. Argall left his home and arrived in Johannesburg when that now flourishing town was but three years old. After staying there for about a year, and also visiting the Kimberley Diamond Fields, he came to New Zealand and entered into mining pursuits at Coromandel. He was for some years with the Kapanga Company, and was working in the Blagroves Mine in 1892. In that year he attended the Thames School of Mines for about three months, and afterwards took a trip to Australia. While on that Continent, he visited Bendigo and Castlemaine, Victoria, and worked in the mines at Broken Hill. New South Wales. There he suffered a mishap in being lead-poisoned, and had to return to New Zealand to recruit his health. On arrival in the Colony he was appointed one of the agents of the Kapanga Mine, and in 1895 took up the duties of the position which he still occupies. Mr. Argall is a member of the Coromandel Lodge of Freemasons and is on the committee of the School of Mines. He is also a member of the New Zealand Institute of Mining Engineers. Mr. Argall married in 1896 a daughter of the late Mr. Richard Clymo, who was manager of the Kapanga Mine as far back as 1873.
Mr. Walter Moorcraft, Mine Manager. Bunker's Hill Gold Mine. Coromandel, was born at Auckland, and is the fourth son of the late Mr. Charles Martin Moorcraft, who came to the colonies in the early sixties. Educated at the Thames, Mr. Moorcraft became a student at the School of Mines, and was initiated into mining in the famous Caledonian mine in that district. It was in that mine that he had a narrow escape from being suffocated by an inflow of gas, two lives being lost thereby. Mr. Moorcraft was one of the rescuing party, who were unfortunately too late to save the men. He has engaged in mining all through the Peninsula, his first experience as a mine manager being at Taupo. He then went to the Ohinemuri district, and was for six years working in and between Karangahake and Waihi. From there he went to take the position of foreman of the Bunker's Hill Mine, and, on the death of Mr. John T. Carter, he was appointed mine manager. Mr. Moorcraft was well known at the Thames as a rower, and had the stroke oar of the Thames crews that won the Auckland Amateur and Championship Whaleboat races in 1890 and 1891. He is a member of the Coromandel Lodge of Freemasons, and of the council of the School of Mines. Mr. Moorcraft was married in 1898 to Miss Juanita Lamb, eldest daughter of Mr. R. S. Lamb, a well-known Sydney merchant.
Mr. W. Moorcraft.
The Golden Pah Gold Mining Company, Ltd. This company was registered in London on the 7th of August, 1896, with a capital of £62,500 in shares of half-a-crown each. There is a working capital of £30,000, and a reserve of £2,500. The London office is at 97 Dashwood House, E.C., and the secretary is Mr. W. J. Lavington. The property is a subsidiary of the Hauraki Gold Mining Company, and has an area of twenty-three acres. It is situated in Coromandel, adjoining the “Hauraki.”
Mr. Edward Arthur Daldy, Mine Manager to the Golden Pah Gold Mine and the Hauraki Main Lodes, Ltd., was born in Hobart in 1856, and is the second son of the late Dr. H. J. Daldy, for many years a magistrate in Tasmania, and a nephew of Captain Daldy, of Auckland, whose biography appears elsewhere in these pages. The subject of this notice came to New Zealand when eighteen years of age, arriving at Coromandel in May, 1875, where he was engaged in mining pursuits. Soon afterwards he went to Whangarei, conducting a store in that township for some little time. Selling out, Mr. Daldy went to the Thames, and worked some of the principal mines of that district, but, after spending a few years there, returned to Coromandel, working at the “Tokatea,” “Old Union Beach,” and other mines. About this time he essayed storekeeping again, but gave it up and directed all his energies to mining. He was for some years employed at the Kapanga Mine, and, while working there, became a member of the tributing party under Mr. George H. Legge, which discovered what is now historically known as “Legge's Reef.” Mr. Daldy is one of the most experienced of the mine managers now in Coromandel, and has had a very successful career. He is married and has nine children.
Hauraki (N.Z.) Associated Gold Mines, Ltd. This property, which is situated on the summit of the Tokatea Range—about four miles from the Coromandel wharf—consists of four claims, viz., the “Pride of Tokatea,” “Caledonian,” “Oriana,” and “Rising Sun Extended.” It has an area of eighty-six acres. A ten stamp battery has been erected, which can be worked by either water or steam power. The plant, which is complete in every particular, includes smithy, assay offices, and all the usual appointments of a well-equipped mine. The work is done almost entirely by means of drives and adit levels, the difference in altitude from the top to the bottom peg being about 1100 feet. Four leads have been worked with satisfactory results, gold being visible in all. The manager of the mine is Mr. H. F. Shepherd, and the secretary in Auckland is Mr. J. H. Porter. The capital of the mine is £100,000, in shares of four shilling each.
Mr. Henry Franklin Shepherd, Assoc. N. Z. Inst. M. E., Mine Manager of the Hauraki Associated Gold Mines, Coremandel, was born at Auckland in 1868, and is the eldest son of Mr. Henry Medland Shepherd (now of Auckland), a native of Taranaki, whose parents were among the earliest settlers to arrive in that district. Mr. Shepherd was educated at the Auckland Public School, afterwards going through a course of study at the Thames School of Mines. Whilst there he obtained his first class mine manager's certificate, and also passed his examinations as battery manager, chemist, assayer, and authorized assayer of bullion under the Customs. His mining experience page 486 was gained in different parts of the Thames district, where he was engaged for eight years. He was also for some time with the Cassel Company at Waihi, as a chemist and operator, thus gaining a good Cyanide experience. Mr. Shepherd was married in 1897 to Miss. Ella Patterson, daughter of Mr. James Patterson, the well-known grocer at the Thames.
Mr. H. F. Shepherd.
Hauraki Gold Mining Company, Ltd. This company was registered in London, on the 5th of December, 1894, with a capital of £40,000 in shares of half-a-crown each. The London office is at 97 Dashwood House, and the secretary is Mr. W. J. Lavington, the colonial attorneys being Messrs Argall and Hodge; the latter gentleman also acts as consulting engineer, and in that capacity supervises the working of the mine. The property, which has an area of forty-five acres, consists of what was originally the Coromandel section of the Kapanga Mine, and has proved exceptionally rich. The crushings yield, on an average, about 2000 ounces of gold per month. There is a battery of fifteen stamps working, and the mine is equipped with all the modern improvements. From January, 1895, to December, 1896, bullion bars from this mine were sold to the Bauk of New Zealand representing 62,853 ounces of gold (or 1 ton 18 ewts. 2 qrs. 23 lbs.), the amount realized being £193,677 odd.
Mr. Andrew N. Jamieson, Mine Manager of the celebrated Hauraki Gold Mine, was born in the Shetland Islands in 1844, and received his education in his native isle. Mr. Jamieson has had an exceptional experience in mining, extending over a period of thirty years, having been engaged both in alluvial and quartz workings in Australia and New Zealand. In this Colony he worked on the West Coast diggings of the South Island, and at the Thames during the “rush” of 1869. For the past twenty-five years he has been engaged in Coromandel in the employ of several companies, as mine and battery manager. In 1884 he received the appointment of manager to the Union Beach Company, and since that time has held the position of mine manager for the English companies under Captains Hodge and Argall. He has been for the past sixteen years in the “Haurak,” and every ounce of gold from this now famous mine has passed through his hands. Mr. Jamieson was married in Australia, and has three sons and two daughters.
Mr. A. N. Jamieson.
Hauraki Main Lodes, Ltd. The property is situated in Coromandel, and has an area of about 100 acres, including the old claims of the “Albion” and “Albion Extended.” It takes in the whole foreshore, and adjoins the famous “Hauraki” and “Golden Pah” properties. At a depth of 180 feet two cross-cuts have been driven, practically on a parallel line with the shore. These will eventually intersect the lodes, which run through the “Hauraki” and “Union Beach” Mines. An extensive winding plant has been provided, and other necessary appurtenances for pushing ahead with the work. The mine manager is Mr. E. A. Daldy, and the consulting engineer Captain Francis Hodge. Mr. H. W. Flint, of the Mines Corporation, is the representative in Auckland. This is an English company, and has a capital of £150,000' in shares of half-a-crown each. The London office is at 3 Princes Street, London, E.C.
Captain Francis Hodge, M.N. Eng. Inst. M.M.E., Mining and Consulting Engineer to the Hauraki group of mines and others at Coromandel, was born in Cornwall, England, and is a son of the late Captain Thomas Hodge, of the Wheal Grenville Mines of that county. When sixteen years of age he went to Portugal, where he spent twelve months. Returning to England, Mr. Hodge worked in his father's mines for several years, at the same time schooling himself in mining engineering. He then received an appointment as agent for the De Brooke Lead Mines, near Devil's Bridge, Wales, where he was settled for two years. After fulfilling an engagement in Nicaragua, he returned to the Old Country a few years later and was soon afterwards sent to New Zealand as superintending engineer to the companies he now represents. Captain Hodge resides at Coromandel, and is married, having three children.
Captain F. Hodge.
Kapanga Gold Mining Company, Ltd. This company was registered in London on the 3rd of October, 1893, and was originally known as the “Kapanga of New Zealand”; the present company is the result of the second reconstruction. It has a capital of £250,000 in £1 shares, which are largely held in England. The London office is at Dashwood House, E.C., and the secretary is Mr. W. J. Lavington. The property is situated in the Coromandel district, and has an area of about 100 acres. A battery of ten stamps has been erected, and considerable prospecting has been done by means of the diamond drill, a depth of over a thousand feet having been attained. The company sold forty acres of the Coromandel section to the Hauraki Gold Mining Company, and 125 acres to the Blagroves Freehold Gold Mining Company.
Mr. P. Barry.
Kathleen Crown Gold Mining Company, Ltd. This company was registered in London on the 27th of February, 1896, with a capital of £75,000 in 600,000 shares of half-a-crown each; all of these were offered on the 28th of February, 1896, payable one shilling on application, and one shilling and sixpence on allotment. The last lot were taken up on the 29th of July, 1896. The original object of the company was to acquire and develop a freehold property situated in the centre of the Hauraki mining district, locally known as the “Pukepoto Block,” and having an area of about ninety-two acres. The terms of payment to vendors were concluded as follows:—£50,000 payable, £6000 in cash, and £44,000 in cash or shares, or partly in each, at the discretion of the directors. A working capital of £25,000 was set aside. The directors of the company are Messrs. H. Wilson, A. J. Travers, and G. Hardie, J.P. The London office is at Dashwood House, E.C., and Mr. W. J. Lavington is secretary. Mr. Henry Battens is attorney in New Zealand, and also the General Manager.
Mr. Henry Battens, C.M., M.I.M.E. (N.Z.), Attorney and General Manager of the Kathleen Crown Gold Mining Company, was born in West Cornwall, England, in 1860, and is a son of the late Mr. Charles Battens, a farmer of St. Erth, West Cornwall. He was educated in his native town, and served his apprenticeship to the engineering trade. On completing his time, he went into the tin mines in order to get a thorough knowledge of mining, and was for five and a half years working therein before leaving for New Zealand in 1886. On arrival in the Colony, he entered into mining pursuits in Coromandel. Mr. Battens erected the first pumping beam engine (direct acting) which was put up in New Zealand, on the Coromandel Gold Mining Company's property at Union Beach, this being afterwards re-erected at the Kapanga Mine. He was soon afterwards appointed mine manager of the latter mine, and was in charge for some years. Mr Battens is a mining and mechanical engineer of no mean merit, and is considered one of the very best in the mining district. He holds page 488 a number of references from most authentic sources, testifying to his capabilities. Mr. Battens was the first to introduce compressed air into the North Island, as a motive power for driving a pair of winding engines at 1000 feet below the surface. Under his personal supervision and instruction, the pumping plants at the Blagroves' Freehold. Kathleen Crown, Preece's Point, and Hauraki Mines have been erected. During Captain Argall's absence from the Colony, Mr. Battens took the general management of the group of mines worked by the company. He was married to Selina Ellen, the eldest daughter of the late Captain Thomas Hodge, of the Wheal Grenville Mine, Cornwall, and a sister of Captain Hodge, of Coromandel. In 1891 Mr. and Mrs Battens visited England.
Mr. H. Battens.
The Kathleen Gold Mining Company was inaugurated in January, 1896. The area to be worked includes some fifty acres quite close to the township of Coromandel, and within a few yards of the famous Hauraki Mine. Early in 1897 a capital of many thousands of pounds was spent in a most complete mining plant, which, being worked by three eight-hour shifts, gives employment to forty persons, thirty miners working underground.
Mr. F. Vialoux.
The Opitonui Battery. It is at this battery that the gold from the large quantities of ore obtained from the three neighbouring mines, is extracted. The battery is the property of the Kauri Freehold Gold Estates, Limited. It is one of the best equipped and most complete in the colony, and is furnished with rock-breakers, ore-feeders, stampers, amalgamating plates, Huntingdon mills, cyanide vats for double treatment, agitators, and filter presses, with the numerous other appliances essential to gold extraction. The battery was erected in 1897, and is connected with the different mines—from which it is separated by three miles of railway—the property of the company.
Mr. Henry Ogilvie Allom, Metallurgist, was born at Great Barrier Island, New Zealand, in 1886, and is the son of Mr. A. J. Allom, who arrived from England some years previously to take the management of the Great Barrier Gold Mining Company. The subject of this notice moved to the Thames with his parents in 1870, and was educated at the Thames High School. At the age of twenty-one he took a trip to Victoria and thence to New South Wales, where he entered the service of the famous Broken Hill Mining Company, and for over three years was employed at their enormous blast furnaces for reducing ore. He was then for a few months in the company's refineries at Port Pirie, South Australia, subsequently going to Tasmania, where he spent some months on the silver holds of Zeehan. Returning to New Zealand, he entered the employ of the Cassel Gold Extracting Company, remaining with them some two years, during which period he had charge of the practical working of the Cyanide plant owned by the company at Waihi. He was also for a time employed by the Waihi-Silverton Gold Mining Company in connection with the Cyanide Process. In June, 1896, he took charge of the Cyanide plant and battery of the Tararu Creek Gold Mining Company, Thames, whence he went to his present position at Opitonui, in the service of the Kauri Freehold Gold Estates Company. Mr. Allom has had a long practical experience as a metallurgist, and justly stands high in his profession.
Mr. H. O. Allom.
Harrison, Richard Herbert, J.P., Mine Manager; Coromandel. Mr. Harrison is one of the oldest mining managers in the district. Born at Liverpool, England, in 1846, and educated privately, Mr. Harrison left home and arrived in New Zealand in 1863. Joining the New Zealand Volunteers, he served in the Maori War, and was one of the youngest men to take part in the battle of Orakau. He has since been awarded the New Zealand War Medal for his bravery. When the Walkato War was over, he engaged in mining for three years on the West Coast of the South Island, going thence to Christ-church. Mr. Harrison subsequently joined the armed constabulary, and saw active service in the Wanganui and Poverty Bay districts, there being great excitement at that time over the massacre at Poverty Bay. When peace was restored, he came north and followed mining pursuits at the Thames. In 1869 he went to Coromandel, starting in business as a wine and spirit merchant and general storekeeper. Since that time he has been closely identified with the mining industry. He was for two years and a half manager of the Great Mercury Batteries at Kuoatunu, and previously to that was manager to the Woodstock and Stanley Gold Mines. More recently, Mr. Harrison was in charge of the Bunker's Hill and Southern Cross Mines, and of the New Goleonda and Zealandia Mines. In local polities, he has been a member of the Tiki Road Board, of the school committee, and of other public bodies, and he is now (1901) a member of the Coromandel County Council. Mr. Harrison married a daughter of the late Captain Ninnis, and has three daughters. He resides at a residence charmingly situated on the Tiki Road, the grounds being tastefully laid out with tennis courts, etc.
Mr. R. H. Harrison.
Mr. H. P. Hornibrooke.
Martin, William Goodman, Mine Manager, Coromandel. Mr. Martin has had a long and prominent career as a miner. Beginning in the famous mining county of Cornwall at the age of twelve years, he applied himself diligently for a period of two years to his adopted calling, and then left England for North America, where he spent about eighteen months in the copper mines of the Lake Superior district. Returning to England for a three months' visit, he decided to try the colonies, and, before attaining the age of sixteen, left his native land a second time, his destination then being the copper mines of South Australia. After two years there, Mr. Martin turned his attention to the Vietorian Goldfields, and spent a year in the Ballarat district. Leaving then for New Zealand, he arrived at the Thames in time to participate in the excitement caused by the rich find in the great Caledonia Mine, being employed in the drive where it was discovered. For several years thenceforward Mr. Martin worked in the “Caledonia” and other rich mines at the Thames, in varying capacities, and in 1881 was appointed mine manager for the New Golden Pah Gold Mining Company, at Coromandel. Though a fine yield was obtained, the claim was brought to a standstill in about a year's time, owing to the stoppage of the adjoining mine—now a section of the famous “Hauraki.” Since then Mr. Martin has been employed as mine manager and supervisor in various parts of the Colony, and has been singularly fortunate in securing good results in nearly all cases.
Mr. W. G. Martin.
Clarke, George Witchell, Engineer, Coromandel. Mr. Clarke was born near Stroud in Gloucestershire in 1845. He is the third son of Mr. John Webb Clarke, was educated at Dursley, Gloucestershire, came to New Zealand in the early sixties, and landed at Nelson. Thence he went overland to the Grey River “rush,” and stayed there for two years with varying luck. From the Grey, Mr. Clarke went to the Victorian diggings, and remained on the alluvial fields for some time. He then moved to Auckland, and hearing that the Thames was likely to be opened as a gold-field, he went there and was one of the earliest on the ground. After spending some time at the Thames, Mr. Clarke went to Fiji for the purpose of erecting some cotton-ginning machines. After an absence of fifteen months he returned to Auckland and proceeded to Coromandel, where he was prospecting for some time. From Coromandel he went to Kennedy Bay, where he was engineer at Messrs Cruickshank and Patterson's sawmill for eighteen months. He then returned to Coromandel, where be erected several mining plants, and then proceeded to the Thames, and erected the plant for the Saxon Gold Mining Company. Mr. Clarke's next move was to Waihi, where he was one of the party who found the gold which started the now famous Waihi mine. On returning to Coromandel he was engineer to the Coromandel Gold Mining Company until it closed down. He then went to Coolgardie, where he was mining for over twelve months; and he has been acting for the past few years at Coromandel, under Captain Hodge, for several English companies, one of which is the well-known “Hauraki.” Mr. Clarke is married and has six children.
Mr. G. W. Clarke.
Mr. J. B. Rockliff.
Mr. George Hart Legge has had experience welt entitling him to a place among the leading miners of Coromandel. Mr. Legge was born in Dorsetshire, England, in 1849, and is the son of Mr. Edward Legge, a Dorsetshire farmer. He was educated at St. Andrew's College, Chardstock, and the South Petherton Grammar School. Mr. Legge came to New Zealand in the ship “Rowena,” landing at Dunedin, and spent the first two years of his colonial life at Gabriel's Gully, the Molyneux, and other parts of the Otago goldfields. In 1869 he went Home to look after his interests in farming property there, and returned by way of Melbourne. For two or three years he travelled about the colonies, and particularly through the South Sea Islands. In 1872 he visited Auckland, and shortly afterwards settled down at Coromandel, where he has made a name for himself as an experienced and successful miner. For years he worked in the famous Hauraki mine; where, in 1894, his party discovered the lead since so well-known as “Legge's Reef,” As a volunteer Mr. Legge rose to the position of sergeant in the Coromandel Rifles, and was one of the half dozen of that corps who volunteered for active service at Parihaka. In all matters which could in any way promote the interests of mining, Mr Legge has ever been active, and he has earned for himself the esteem of the people with whom he has passed so many years. In 1870 Mr. Legge was married to Miss Tucker, daughter of the late Mr. William Tucker, of Broadenham House, near Bridport, Dorsetshire, and they have three sons and one daughter.