Bendigo Battery Waiorongomai Valley

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Bendigo Battery

Bendigo Battery is part of the early gold fields in the Waiorongomai Valley on the western side of the Kaimai Ranges in the Bay of Plenty region, the battery was built as part of the mining operations in the early 1900 and bears the name of the Bendigo mine, these small mines are dotted all through the walking tracks in the valley.   

The ore that carries the gold was brought down the Butlers Incline, a two way tramway that lowered the ore carts down a four hundred meter slope way up in the hills above the Bendigo battery, at the base of Butlers Incline was a diversion from the tramway and the ore carts were emptied into ore buckets.

These ore buckets were fixed to a large pulley system, the wheel and part of the assembly that holds all the steel cable is still intact at the base of Butlers Incline, and the carts were lowered down the valley to the Bendigo Battery which is located directly below just above the river.   

At the top of the walking track along way above the Bendigo Battery is a short tunnel this was dug through the bank to the track on the other side and directly above is where the ore buckets were sent down the mountain side from Butlers Incline, the tunnel was to protect horses and workers from the overhead ore buckets.

The battery was built to extract the gold from the ore that was sent down, there is a cast iron pipe still visible running from the battery up the hillside to the water race which is located way up the river probably five hundred or more meters from the battery.

Water was diverted through the pipe all the way to the battery to power the pelton wheels that in turn powered the stamper that was used to crush the gold laden ore, there are also alot of tanks here that held the cyanide for gold extraction from the crushed ore.  

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