New Zealand facts & history in brief
New Zealand Map
is a small gold and silver
mining and service town for the
surrounding area's dairy farming
with a population of about 5000 people,
at the southern end of the
Coromandel Range, 230 km
south-east of Auckland.
There are the still operating 'open-cast'
gold and silver mines, near the town centre,
around the famous Martha Mine.
James Hector, pioneer geologist and
the director of the New Zealand
Geological Survey confirmed
the presence of gold and
silver in the 1870's.
Soon, prospectors Robert Lee and
John McCombie discovered a rich
lode near the town but were unable
to extract the minerals from the quartz.
In the 1880's William Nicholl and
his syndicate opened the Martha Mine.
In the 1890's new technology made the
gold and silver extraction from the
quartz simple and inexpensive and
Waihi became a thriving 'boom' town,
with about 6000 people,
larger than the nearby Hamilton,
at the time.
In 1952, the Martha Mine was closed,
during its operation it produced
about $84 million worth
of gold and silver.
Recently, again due to new technology
it has been reopened as
an 'open-cast' mine. I
n 1912 the Waihi mine workers went
on strike for six months until
the militant strikers were
forced out of the town.
Waihi is an often used name
throughout New Zealand.
In recent times, there were a
number of disastrous subsidences
in and around town, as old workings
collapsed taking some houses and
the residents hard earned
homes with them.
You can click on these photos for an enlargement.
|| Old Martha Mine
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