Royal Standard Mine
Extracts from: Papers and Reports Relating to Minerals and Mining, 1897
A large amount of prospecting has been done in the Royal Standard Mine. The reefs are being opened up and a tramway made to a point on a creek where machinery can be landed. A large battery of forty stamps is to be erected near the mine, and, as there is ample water-power adjacent, this company will be in a position to treat quartz of low grade. The mill is to be fitted with all the latest appliances in gold-saving. Mr. J. G. Ralph, the manager, gives the following account of the mine and works :—
The low-level tunnel has been driven a total distance of 151 ft;, at right angles to the general course of the various lodes traversing the property. This is sufficiently large to admit of a horse-tram line being laid. The country-rock is a very hard, splintery, close-grained andesite. The Royal Standard main lode will be intersected at this level, at a total distance of 640ft., giving 380ft. of backs, and affording crushing material for years to come before sinking is resorted to. The Le Messurier level is being driven along the foot-wall side of the Le Messurier reef. Bore-holes are drilled at equal distances along the lode, and the borings assayed, which proves the quartz to be highly payable. A cross-cut is to be commenced at a point 200ft. from the mouth, and driven through the reef, where a junction of two other smaller reefs with the Le Messurier is expected to be met with. In the Le Messurier cross-cut the total distance driven is 62 ft.; another 220 ft. of driving will intersect the Royal Standard main lode on the south side of the creek. The lode on the spur through which the cross-cut is penetrating is a splendid body of stone. Sulphides of silver, associated with extremely finely divided particles of gold, are freely seen in the large pieces of ore strewn about the surface of this spur. From here we expect a long run on highly payable ore. The Junction cross-cut will intersect the main lode on the northern slope of creek in 30 ft. of driving, and will pass through a further distance of about 60ft. to reach the western branch of the lode, from which good dish prospects are obtainable on the surface. The want of storage-room for the quartz, broken out necessitates the stoppage of development works on the various reefs until the tram-line is connected with the quartz hoppers. The total distance driven in the intermediate level is 95ft. The rock here being near the surface is an oxidized andesite (propylite), through which progress is more speedy. The main lode will be intersected here at a point some 800ft. north of the Junction cross-cut. A shoot for the conveyance of the quartz to the tram-line will shortly be in course of construction. The bulk of the crushing-ore will be obtained from the Le Messurier, Junction, and intermediate levels for a considerable time to come.
The tram-line for the transit of quartz to battery is being constructed from the low-level tunnel to the kiln-site, a distance of 20 chains. From the entrance to the Junction cross-cut a bridge is to be constructed across the main creek, at the south end of which a large storage-hopper is in course of erection. The tram-line from this hopper will be cut around the precipitous rock to the mouth of the Le Messurier level. The tram from the Le Messurier to a point opposite the low-level tunnel is being made, and when a quartz hopper is erected a stretch of tram-line from this to the low level will complete the tramway formation. Great difficulties have to be contended with during the formation work, very precipitous rocks, the crust of which is extremely hard, towering up perfectly straight for 200ft.
The water-race formation, when completed, will have a total length of 40 chains, giving 197 ft of fall. The excavation for battery is being carried on with expedition. A firm class of sandstone is met with for the foundations of stamps. The site will shortly be in readiness for the cyanide plant. Bricks for the assaying-furnaces can be made close to the battery-site. The greater portion of timber for the battery, water-race, hoppers, &c., is ready at the different pits, and a tram-line is being laid down in readiness for conveyance of timber to the battery-site.
Mr. Charles Judd, of Thames, is the contractor for the manufacture and supply of a forty-head dry-crushing stamper-mill and a cyanide plant of the latest type, the whole plant to be erected without delay. The natural position of the mill-site enables the quartz, when once dumped into the kilns, to pass by gravitation through the whole mill without handling. The main-line formation of the railway from battery to landing is complete a distance of 4 miles 52 chains. This work is at a standstill until the arrival of the rails from England.
The company is experiencing great difficulties in conveying supplies to its property. The Ohinemuri County Council appear to take no interest whatever in opening up this district. The Royal Standard Company have for some considerable time employed upwards of two hundred men, which surely entitles them to something in the matter of roads.
Prospecting works have also been carried on in the Atlas and La Mascotte, where several gold-bearing reefs have been discovered. Work was also carried on in the Devon, Gold Stream, Royal Shield, Tavistock, Prince of Wales, Fiery Gross, Sceptic, Day Spring, and Waitekauri-Tavistock Reefs Junction.
Mines Statement 1898
Royal Standard Mine.—This company has done a large amount of work during the year. tramway has been laid from the landing in the river to the mine, a distance of about four miles and a half, and only requires some ballast in places to complete this great work. An excavation has been made for the battery about three-quarters of a mile from the mine. The construction of water-race is in a forward state, and the manager's house, offices, store-house,& c., are all built suitable for a large company's business, and Mr. Pascoe, the manager sent from England, considers there is nothing in the mine to warrant the outlay, and in consequence has recommended the directors to stop all works until the matter is fully considered. It is said £23,000 have been spent on various works connected with the mine.
Royal Standard Mine.—A large amount of money has been expended in laying the tramway, preparations for the foundation of the battery, the construction of a water-race, the manager's house, and necessary buildings, but the manager, who recently arrived from Home, has recommended the directors to stop all works for the present. Mr. T. Pascoe, the manager, reports:
" The Royal Standard Gold-mines (Limited) is at present under protection. The number of men that have been regularly employed during the fifteen months the company has been operating has been sixty. The area of land held is 100 acres. The mine is a quartz-mine, and is situated in the Wharekiraupunga district. The reefs, as stated, are composed of quartz, and vary in thickness from 3 in. to 6ft. The deepest shaft is 50ft., and the longest adit level about 300 ft. A distance of 685 ft. has been driven on the various reefs at present exploited on the property. The work done to date can be described as prospecting, making surface tramways, water-race, and excavation for machine-site. There is no machinery on the ground, nor has any ore been crushed, with the exception of small test parcels at the Thames School of Mines."
Mines Statement 1899
Royal Standard Mine.—There has been very little work done on this property during the year; but lately, I am informed, operations of a prospecting nature have again been resumed.
Mines Statement 1901
A little prospecting has been carried on in this locality, but no important discoveries have yet been reported.
Royal Standard.—There has been very little work done in this mine for some time past; it is under protection pending the owner (Captain Hodge) raising sufficient capital in England to enable him to more systematically develop the mine, which he is sanguine will yet prove to be a valuable property.