Chook's Tracks

Tributary of the Paiakarahi Stream Maratoto Valley.

Access via Randrup's farm, or the old public road off the Maratoto Road, which runs up the true lefthand side of the stream.

This area was actively tested from 1899 to 1903 by the Hikutaia Gold Syndicate Ltd of London and known as the Maratoto United Claim, afterwards called Maratoto Consolidated.

A large amount of work was done in this area with six adits being driven from No. 1 at 1,020ft above sea level to No. 7 at 756ft above sea level.

No. 4 level was driven on for 1,260ft and No. 7 for 1,716ft.

The reef was up to 14ft wide with an average width of 10ft.

The syndicate erected a treatment plant and was careful in its operation, but the results were poor and unsatisfactory.

Between 1899 and 1903, 7,989 tons of ore were treated for 6,307 ounces of bullion, worth £6,063 or 15s.2d per ton.

In 1904 the New Maratoto Gold Mining Co. was formed to further work the reef system, but wasn't financially sound and went out of business in 1908.

Taken up by Charles Adams in 1931 and forfeited to J. Martin, the same year.

During 1932 both McBrinns and J. Martin, Arizona were taken over by Tasman United Mines Ltd.

This line of information ended in 1935 [Downey 1935 - E] and it was said then that if there was to be any worthwhile deposits to be found they would be in the top levels as the lower levels had very poor assays.

History of this mine from 1940 by Chook Sutton

Another attempt was made during the nineteen forties using No.3 level drive as the main entrance and a Judd Ball Mill was towed in by the George McGregor family horses and installed just downstream from adit on the true left bank of the Arizona Stream. (Engine driven).

The mine Manager was a Mr Smith, then in his sixties, who had worked in these mines as a young man.

The Battery Manager was Mr Winton who lived up there with his wife and two children who had to walk to the Maratoto Road to collect their Home School Correspondence and pick up bread etc.

Mr Winton later became Battery Manager for the Golden Spur Mining Co. at the Maratoto Valley.

Both these companies failed owing to the low recovery rate mainly brought about by the amount of mulloch mixed in with the crushed ore.

The writer had the pleasure of seeing both the above companies in operation and recently walked into No.3 Drive after a time lag of over fifty years.

There is nothing much left at the Ball Mill Site as it was all dismantled with the buildings and huts and dragged down into Mr G. McGregor's front paddock on the Maratoto Road and sold by auction.

Bits and pieces can be found at the other two battery sites off the Arizona Stream, both of which were driven by water power.

Ball Mill site about 200 metres upstream from No.7 level.

From the 1930's to 1980's, this valley was home to hundreds of wild goats, which kept the hills around the mine bare.Not so today. Many of the mine tracks are well overgrown since D.O.C. waged a seek and destroy mission.

9.6 km, 05:20:37