Victoria Battery


Category
Engineering Site (eg Portland cement works, Maori fortifications)

Description

In 1897 the Victoria Battery, alongside the Ohinemuri River at Waikino, was erected by the Waihi Gold Mining Company to process ore from its Martha Mine in Waihi.

The facility initially had 100 stampers to crush the ore, powered using Pelton wheels. However in 1902 a further 100 stampers were added with a steam engine to dive them. This became the largest stamper installation in New Zealand and had an 8 kilometre railway between it and Waihi.

The cyanide process of extracting gold from crushed ore was successfully tested at one of the nearby Karangahake Gorge mines, and this process was also used at the Victoria Battery. The battery’s cyanide tanks were constructed in the early 20th century.

In 1912 the need for increased power supply led the company to build the first hydro-electric power station on the Waikato River, at Horahora, as well as with a 50,000 volt overhead line:
Horahora hydro-electric power station
Horahora-Waikino 50 kV transmission line

The Victoria Battery continued operating until 1952, closing at the same time as the Matha underground mine.


Heritage recognition
This place has been registered by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust as historic places (Register nos. 4602, 4604 and 4678):
Battery Foundations: New Zealand Historic Places Trust register information
Power House: New Zealand Historic Places Trust register information
Victoria Battery Cyanide Tank Holders: New Zealand Historic Places Trust register information (www.historic.org.nz)


Attachments

No Attachments

Location

Pukekauri Road, Waikino



Region/s
Thames Valley / Coromandel

Access Info
The ruins of the battery are managed by the Department of Conservation and are part of their Historic Walkway to Waikino (www.doc.govt.nz). There is a carpark opposite the Waikino Railway Station on Seddon Street, just off of State Highway 2. From here you can follow a walkway to the ruins.

Nature of Engineering
Electrical Power Generation and Distribution, Rail Transportation, Manufacturing and Industrial Processing

 

Waikino battery, Waikato, ca 1912. Ref: 1/2-019291-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://beta.natlib.govt.nz/records/22452103

(Click image to enlarge)

Waikino battery, Waikato, 1910-1920. Photographer unknown: Gold mining in the Waihi district. Ref: 1/4-015341-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://beta.natlib.govt.nz/records/22748357

(Click image to enlarge)

Waikino, Hauraki district, 2 May 1950. Whites Aviation Ltd: Photographs. Ref: WA-24604-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://beta.natlib.govt.nz/records/23238331. The battery is shown middle right of the image

(Click image to enlarge)

Lat: -37.411806 Long: 175.774802