Chook's Tracks

This mine is situated on the west side of the Grace Darling Stream, approximately 1 ½ kms across farmland from the Waitekauri Golden Cross Road. Originally the ground was held in a number of small claims known as the Grace Darling, Portsea, Pyramid, Vender and Progress, all of which had their own small companies to operate them.

About 1892, the Grace Darling Co. was formed to work the lot. This company erected a ten stamp battery which commenced crushing in 1894, but the results were not satisfactory. Around 1,641 tons of ore were treated for a return of £692.

About 1899, an English company took over and erected a new ten stamp mill and commenced crushing in February 1900, but the venture failed.

The ground lay idle until 1905 when Challis and Party took up the old Portsea section. They took out a trial crushing from below No.2 Level and thought it was satisfactory enough to erect a five stamp battery, the third plant to be put on the claim.

Their expectations were not realised for they only crushed 22 tons of quartz for 22 ounces bullion, worth £50.

No further work has been done on the claim.

Total crushed, including the Portsea, was 1,667 tons which yielded 298 ounces bullion, worth £742.

The Grace Darling Mine had three levels, No.1 ?; No.2 driven 500 feet; No.3 150 feet.

Portsea had two levels, No.1 Adit 250 feet; No.2 Adit 315 feet.

The Prioress, Pyramid and Vender Reefs were very poor.

The above batteries were powered by water from the Kathleen Stream.






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