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THE WAIHI COMPANY'S NEW BATTERY AT WAIKINO.

(From Our Own Correspondent.)

The highly important works being carried out by the above Company in connection with their new quartz mill at Waikino are now approaching completion, and it is probable that by the beginning of the new year the battery will be in working order, although many minor details may still require completion at that date. Considering the magnitude of the works undertaken, the impossibility of obtaining a regular supply of material, and the many unforseen .difficulties which always crop up, the management have certainly made splendid progress. This can be attributed to the power of gold, directed- by the energy ana business capacity of the Company's 'superintendent, Mr H. P. Barry. And here it is only right that mention should be made of the worthy assistance rendered in their various capacities by Messrs Stafford (sub-superintend-ent), Koche (Superintendent of Works), C. Fraser (who preparedthe.plaiis of .the .battery), and C. E. Cooke (who is superintending the erection of the cyanide vats). It is impossible to describe otherwise than briefly7 'the" ''varioi^ "word's1 "at this Victoria battery, at it has been named. A splendid locomotive line has been laid from the mine at Wailii to the battery, a distance of six miles, and along this the quartz will be conveyed in steel trucks, side tipping, and holding 1| tons of ore each. The motive power used at the battery will be obtained from two water races—high' and low pressure respectively. The high pressure race, which is conveyed over six miles from Waitekauri, has a fall of 198 feet, and contains 15 sluice heads of water. This race will drive two Peltons, each of 140 horse power. The low pressure race come from the Ohineniuri river, across which a stone and concrete dam is being erected below the Silverton battery. This race is four feet deep, eight feet wide at the bottom and 12 feet wide at the top ; has a fall of 55 feet, and will convey 60 sluice heads of water. It will be utilised for driving two Victor turbines of 200 and 100 horse power respectively, the water supply being divided by branch pipes leading to "each turbine. These'branch pipes are four feet six inches in diameter, diminishing to three feet six inches, and are fitted with equilibrium valves. Besides this water power, I understand an order has been sent home for a powerful steam engine to be used should the supply of water fail from any cause. One turbine (made by Gilbert 'Gilkes, Kendal) is in position, and the foundations for the second are well under Avay. The foundation for the reception of the two Peltons is also completed, and these will shortly be in position. The Peltons are of 140 h.p. each. Both Peltons and turbines are driven by rope pulleys. On the third floor of the battery the electric lighting plant, workshops, etc., will be located, and here also a complete control of the machinery is secured. An important feature of the mill is that should anything go wrong with the stampers, only 5 stampers need be stopped at a time. Another most important feature, of this ' mill in the great amount of light and space which is secured. As regards the treatment, the ore is first conveyed from the locomotive line up an incline tramway and dumped into the kilns, which are six in. number, each having a capacity .of 500 tons. This incline tramway will be worked automatically by a winding engine. There are two kiln drives, and running along these will be a cable tramway conveying the trucks from the kilns to the ore-breakers and'back. The trucks can Be switched off at the kilns by means of automatic clips, remain at the kilns till full, then switched on again and back to the ore-breakers, and all automatically. There are two ore-breakers, the first being a No. 5 Gates crusher, which is in position, and below this a No. 3 crusher will be erected at once. The coarse stone from the No. 5 wilt fall down into the No. 3 breaker, arid will be reduced by it to the required fineness. These crushers, together with the cable tram for the trucks, will be worked by al2 horse-poAver engine. From the ore-breakers the quartz is conveyed in trucks by means of another cable tramway to the ore bins erected in the top floor of the battery, and there discharged by means of a pin, which, being placed at whatever bin the ore is required, causes the trucks, which have bottom discharges, to open, discharge into that particular bin, and continue along the tram, righting themselves automatically, and passing out at the other end of the null ; and thence back to the ore-breaker to be again filled. Thus by an ingenious arrangement, devised by Messrs Barry and Eraser, the ore receives absolutely no handling from it leaves the mines till it enters the bins; nor indeed till it is received into the cyanide vats From the ore bins the quartz is fed by Challenge ore feeders into the stamper boxes. There are 100 stampers erected ready for work, each weighing I,ooolb, and

the whole capable of putting through 120 tons daily. ■ From the stampers the or.c is conveyed in the usual way to the tank shed, which is about 150 yards away. This tank shed is a massive structure, 2/0 feet long by 113 feefc wide, and very substantially built. It will contain 10 cyanide vats; each 50 feet long by 40 wideby 4ft 6in deep, and each vat capable of holding 120 tons of ore, or just one days crushing. These vats are of concrete, with an outer layer of cement, being an innovation from the ordinary steel or wooden vats : and are of the most substantial nature. Neither are they circular as is usual. A vast quantity of concrete is being used in their construction, and to expedite the preparation, a cement mixer, driven by a traction engine, has been most ingeniously constructed, capable of mixing from 40 to 50yds of boncrete daily. Five vats are completed, with the exception of the' cementing, which has just been started. The other five are well in hand, one mam wall being completed and part of the cross walls. This work is being pushed rapidly ahead under the able direction of Mr O. &. Cooke. The only possible defect one can possibly fear with these concrete vats is the danger of leakage, and this is; reduced to a minimum; and in my opinion will not occur. Ab one end of the tank shed another building is being erected, 85 ieet by 65 feet, for the reception of precipitation plant. The assay room, smelting house, and laboratory will also be adjoining the tank shed, and have still to be erected. Other necessary buildings, such as engine shed, offices, smithy,- etc., -are dotted about, so that when the battery is ready for work quite a little township will exist about there. From the foregoing a slight idea of the works being carried out by this Company may be gathered, though it is only by an inspection that a thorough grasp of the whole can be gained.

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AS18971027.2.8.1

Bibliographic details

THE WAIHI COMPANY'S NEW BATTERY AT WAIKINO., Auckland Star, Volume XXVIII, Issue 249, 27 October 1897

Word Count
1,204

THE WAIHI COMPANY'S NEW BATTERY AT WAIKINO. Auckland Star, Volume XXVIII, Issue 249, 27 October 1897

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