Monday, May 19, 2014

Operational 10 & 2-Stamper Batteries, Central Deborah Gold Mine, Bendigo, Australia

10 & 2-Stamper Batteries
Central Deborah Gold Mine
Bendigo, AUS

April 19, 2014
We stopped in Bendigo to visit the Central Deborah Gold Mine and Town.The picture below shows the headframe or poppet. This was the original poppet and has been restored. The entire mine is just as it was when mining started including the buildings.
The plaque above is attached to a piece of quartz taken from the vein underground. It is commemorating Fifty years of preservation and restoration work on the Central Deborah Gold mine.

There are two stamper batteries at the mine. The 10-stamper and the 2-stamper batteries both work. They are driven with an electric motor and when the 10-stamper ran it dropped 5 of the 10 stamps. The 10-stamper was made by the Thompson Foundry in Castlemaine, Victoria. It had a regular Hendy type feeder and most everything about the mill was similar to the US mills. The tour guide ran the mill and did a good job talking about the mercury process.
 The feeder below is similar to the Hendy feeder in the States.

There were several examples of Berdan wheels in the building where the 10-stamper was located. I took shots of them to show the different orientations of Berdan wheels.
You can see the steel ball in the picture below. T Hey also used a steel slug that was rectangular on the top and curved on the bottom to match the contours of the bottom of the bowl.

The second stamper battery was a 2-stamp and was hooked into the power supply for the 10-stamp that was in the building. The tour guide ran the mill and flushed some water through the mechanism. It appeared that one of the shoes had come off the stamp while he was running the machine. The machine had a label on it that said it was made in Bendigo by Holland Brothers. It had the classic sluice table that had two parts, one for the copper table and the other for the carpet that would catch the gold not caught by the mercury. This material would then be placed in the Berdan wheel for further processing.

We went on the underground mine tour which was excellent. They operated drills and the mucker while on the tour. I found a totally different type of carbide lamp than was used in the States. They also used some different terms, the headframe was the poppit, the mucker was called the bogger and the stamper battery shoe was called the hammer. 
While underground we were shown the typical candles and other underground lights. They had a carbide light that I had never seen before. It was very unusual and I took some picture of the lamp in the museum that showed a cross section of the lamp. Very interesting!

After the tour we went through a museum that had a model of the original layout of the poppit head, steam boiler, 10-stamper and the processing equipment. It was a pretty nice model.
 This shot shows the workings of the 20-stamper battery

Contact Information:
Central Deborah Gold Mine
76 Violet Street, Bendigo VIC 3550, Australia +61 3 5443 8322

Booking Information


  1. I appreciate this info a lot! I've been wanting to learn more about mining and how it works, and this gave me what I was looking for. It's amazing to see how we have techonlogy to do things like mining.

  2. That is a fine look at mining grounds. It's nice that they got that up and running, and kept all the engines and equipment for use at future processing. All it takes is to have the right kind of technologies to reinvigorate and expand it for further use of business and community. Thanks for sharing! All the best!

    Rosemary Bailey @ Wabi Iron & Steel Corp