"Gold Mining in Waihi" Waihi by Dodo22

Waihi Travel Guide: 6 reviews and 17 photos

Martha's Mine

Waihi, on the scenic route from Auckland to Tauranga, is the home of one of New Zealand's 2 only working goldmines. Martha's Mine was once one of the world’s most important gold and silver mines, and today remains operational, producing $1 million of gold and silver a week.

The waste rock and tailings from processing at the mine is carried by conveyor to a tailings area several kms away. The waste rock embankments are being progressively restored to farming land.

The town of Waihi was built around the underground mine that operated from the 1880s until its closure in 1952. The mine was then opened in the 1970's again but is now due for closure around 2007.

For more detailed information visit the very indepth website

History of Mining

If you are interested in some of the history of goldmining in NZ, and particularly that of Martha's Mine, make sure you visit the museum, on the end of the mine in Waihi.

Gold was found in Waihi in 1878 and there are some good examples of old machinery used since that time.

Mining Vehicles

Machine: Dump Truck
Model: Caterpillar 777C
Capacity: 85 - 100 tonnes
Overall weight: 150 tonnes gross
Horsepower: 900
Diesel Consumption: 90 litres per hour
Transmission: automatic 7 speed split shift
Cost :$1,390,000
Tyres: $11,200 each, 6 on each truck
(thanks to information provided by Newmont Waihi Gold)

Each truck takes about 15 minutes to complete a round trip from the bottom of the mine to the crusher and return.

  • Last visit to Waihi: Feb 2005
  • Intro Updated Feb 11, 2005
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