Royal Standard Mine

Extracts from: Gold - Mines of the Hauraki District, New Zealand. By F. Downey, 1935


On this area, situated near the head of the stream of the same name in Ohinemuri Country, some prospecting was done as early as 1893, but no claims appear to have been taken up till 1895, when a considerable number were pegged. In 1896 practically all the claims taken up were included in what was known as the Royal Standard Mine, held by an English company of that name. This company spent a very large sum of money in constructing a tramway of upwards of five miles in length to connect the mine with tidal water on Otahu Inlet, purchasing a battery and transporting it to the locality, constructing water-races, &c., before anything like sufficient work was done on the reefs to show one way or the other if the outlay was warranted. The result was disastrous. In 1897 a manager arrived from England, who at once recommended the directors to stop all work. The claims then lay idle till 1899, when they were sold by public auction to Captain Hodge, of Coromandel, who did some small amount of work on several of the reefs by way of testing their values. A parcel of 14 tons of quartz was broken out and sent to Thames School of Mines for treatment, where it is said to have returned 19 oz. bullion, valued at £25. An effort was made by this owner to raise further capital in England to continue operations on the property, but this was not successful, and nothing of any consequence has since been done on the ground.

Reefs and small veins were in existence in the area, ramifying in all directions, but such work as was done by the company was mainly on two, known as the Royal Standard and Le Messuriur reefs, but there was evidently no continuity in them, and although high assays could occasionally be got the values, on the whole, were low. Referring to the area generally, Bell and Fraser remark (Geol. Bull. No. 15, pp. 98-99) that the auriferous belt was confined to an area of little more than a third of a square mile and that the veins occurred wholly in intrusive banded rhyolites, which were there associated with rhyolitic breccias and tuffs overlying andesitic rocks of the "second period."

They further pointed out that while various kinds of quartz were present the best values got were evidently in soft, white, kaolinic material, the quartz being of poor grade. An inspection by the writer of a number of the veins showed that they did not extend far in any direction, occurring more as small floating lenses of quartz than anything else.