Sunday, May 18, 2014

Operational 5-Stamper Battery, Zeehan, Tasmania

Koonya Mine 5-Stamper Battery
West Coast Heritage Center
Zeehan, TAS

April 14, 2014
We left Launceston for Queenstown. We went from Waratah to Zeehan and visited the West Coast Heritage Center and they had two stamp mills in the yard. The following picture was one of the entrances to the museum. This was the old School of Mines Building

The 5-stamper ran and was made by Salisbury & Armstrong Engineers, Launceston, Tas.  The side view shows the typical steel-geared bull wheel with a flat belt drive pulley powered from a gas powered hydraulic engine. It had no feeder and the uprights and other support timbers were made from natural logs, probably not the original style timbers.

The front shot showed the 5 stamps with the typical 2-piece tappets. The guides were steel, which is another typical design for Australian stamper batteries. The camshaft was out of alignment with the stamps and not all of the stamps were being actuated by the cams. The mill definitely needed work to bring it back to operation. This was the weakest condition of stamper batterers that I saw in Tasmania. 

The 2-stamper on teh Zeehan grounds was made by R. Kennedy & Sons, Hobart, Tas. This was a small portable mill and was hand fed and never had a feeder. The tappets were unusual, being single piece. They were different sizes and were different from anything that I had seen on the trip.  

I took pictures of the plates on the stamper batteries.

There was a small coin operated model of a 10-stamper in the museum. You put the coins in and it ran the 10-Stamper Battery, floatation tables and other equipment using belt driven pulleys.  

The Stamper Battery was run originally by an overshot water wheel, similar to other mills in Tasmania. It had a set of flotation cells, and what looks like two thickeners for the cyanide process on the ore dressing machine. There was a drawing on the wall that described the process in detail, but you could not read it. I asked the two people there about getting a copy of the diagram that you could read, but they did not know anything about the drawing. This was a very interesting setup that could use some additional interpretation to give everyone a history of the machine and how the process works.

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