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Golden Point Historic Reserve


Golden Point Rd, Macraes Flat, Palmerston

Golden Point is hidden in a deep gully formed by the serpentine course of Deepdell Creek. It is one of New Zealand's oldest gold mining operations.

Evidence of the entire goldmining system remains, demonstrating the process of milling and gold recovery. The battery is the only known authentic working battery in Otago.

The Golden Point mine was first opened in 1889, and became the property of the Golden Point Mining Company that went into liquidation. The Donaldson brothers then bought the claim, water rights and battery and ran this operation successfully until they sold it to a Christchurch syndicate in 1912. The battery worked until about 1930 and was turned into scrap metal in about 1953. During its successful 40-year life the operation produced over 15,000 ounces of gold and about 800 tonnes of scheelite.

The Donaldson brothers first battery is now marked only by concrete foundations and stone-walling. Remaining from the Callery battery is the original well in which the waterwheel was located and some battery stampers which are possibly original. All the equipment associated with the mineral extraction process is now enclosed in the adjacent corrugated iron shed.

A roadway leads up to a hopper and a collection of rusting metal equipment, including a Huntingdon mill from the Bonanza Mine. Callery's wooden house is still in good order; two mudbrick dwellings and their associated outhouses occupy terraces a short distance along the road, and the concrete foundations and fallen brick chimney of another building sit among the tailings on the valley floor.

Photograph by John Greenwood and supplied by the Department of Conservation (DOC).

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