Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Gippsland Mining District Stamper Batteries, Waratah, Australia


Stamper Batteries
Gibbsland Mining District
Wahalla, Australia

April 22, 2014

We drove from Lakes Entrance to Melbourne via Wahalla. We drove to Walhalla to look at stamp mills. We traveled over 60 Km of narrow, twisting and winding road to get to the town. Walhalla is located in Gippsland Mining District and has a lot of stamp mill remnants. The mining district of Gippsland has over 70 stamper battery locations with many still in place. Unfortunately, none of the stamper batteries were operable at this location. When we arrived at Wahalla we saw two 5-stampers, 2 10-stampers and two 2-stampers just riding along the main street. There were also a lot of spare parts in the area. This would be an excellent place to restore Stampers since there are so many parts. We went from there to Melbourne and stayed there for two days to get some rest.

The town was very small and the streets were extremely narrow. Of course it was raining most of the day, but the town was very interesting. I took two pictures of buildings in the town that I thought were interesting below. They still use telephone booths in this country. I saw many of them in our travels down under.


 The poster picture below explains the following picture. It is worth a thousand words.
  

There were stamper batteries all over the town, so I just started at one end and took pictures as we went. The first one we came across was a small portable 2-stamper battery. As you can see, it was right in someone’s front yard amongst the flower garden.

There were stamper batteries all over the town, so I just started at one end and took pictures as we went. The first one we came across was a small portable 2-stamper battery. As you can see, it was right in someone’s front yard amongst the flower garden.
 


It had the classic geared bull wheel and the simple round tappets that were held on the shaft with steel shims. The sluice table needed a little work.




This stamper battery was sitting behind a barn. The interesting thing about the stamper is that the bull wheel was made with steel spokes, not cast iron. This would have made the wheel a little stronger and less affected to the vibration of the stamp operations. This mill needs some tender loving care to get it back to condition for operations. 


We pulled into the Long Tunnel Extended Gold Mine site. The building in the picture below was a museum of stamper batteries and the “check in” point for the Mine tour.



We went into the museum and saw quite a few artifacts of the local area. There was a 2-stamper battery that was a portable type and a small model stamper.  I met a person by the name of Ben Holmes that was interested in restoring a stamp mill at Wahalla. 



This is the entrance to the Long Tunnel Extended Gold Mine. We did not go on the tour since we were strapped for time. We had a long trip back down the twisting and winding road to Melbourne.


We went outside of the museum and found more stamper batteries and a bunch of spare parts. We actually met a person that worked for Thompson & Company. You can see that this mill was made from cast iron. There were quite a few mills that were made in Australia that were steel framed.
 


The stamper battery below was one of the early ones since it had a full feeder inlet in the back of the mill. You will notice that it has the classic geared bull wheel on one side and a belt pulley on the other side. This generally meant that this system had a Berdan wheel that would run off the belt pulley.




The rest of the photos show the stuff that was in the yard area. The next picture shows a couple of spare mortar boxes ready to be restored behind the museum. Note the mortar boxes are bolted together and are made of steel, not cast. This is a typical configuration for Australia and New Zealand. This makes the boxes lighter and also cuts down of the cost.




Below is a spare set of stamps in their guides ready to be assembled into a 10-stamper battery. Notice the square shoe cones. The guides were very simple and easy to work on with only 2 bolts per individual guide.




Here is the camshaft for the above stamps.



Last picture shows some ore carts to move the ore to the stamper batteries. There is one last Berdan wheel in the background.

 THE END



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