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Wedderburn State Gold Battery

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Wilson Street, Wedderburn VIC 3518. Located at the turnoff to the Hard Hill Tourist Reserve.

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  • Historic gold battery
  • Information sign
  • One of six remaining state batteries in Victoria
This five head stamp battery in Wedderburn is one of six remaining government batteries in Victoria, the others being located at Mount EgertonMaldon, Creswick, Rutherglen and Bright.

Known as "New Hope", the battery was paid for by the government and opened in 1905 in hopes that it would lead to a revival of mining in the Wedderburn area.

Located alongside the turnoff to the Hard Hill Tourist Reserve, the Wedderburn State Battery stands within its shed and is fenced for preservation. 

A well presented information sign alongside the battery displays the following text:

Wedderburn Gold Battery

When this gold battery, known as the "New Hope", was opened in June 1905, it was the eighth battery to have been erected in the Wedderburn district. 

(The first was the Canadian Reef; the second at Hard Hill, later moved to Bocca Flat; the third was at Munster Point; the fourth was on Campbell's Reef, the fifth was on Specimen Hill; the sixth was the Victory and the seventh was Mr Magnuss'.) 

The battery was opened in the presence of a number of townspeople and officials by Miss Cosh, daughter of one of Wedderburn's first residents. It had been paid for by the Government, and it was hoped that it would lead to a revival of mining in the area. 

Built by Mr Gillon, an engineer, it was originally worked by a steam engine. The battery itself was of iron construction, with five heads of stampers, and could be driven at eighty blows per minute. 

(It was belt driven by a six horsepower portable engine made by Johnson and Son. The boiler had been tested up to 120 pounds hydraulic pressure with a working pressure of eighty pounds.) 

Charges at the time of opening were:-
  • Up to five tons - four shillings (4/-) an hour
  • 5 - 10 tons - three shillings and sixpence (3/6) an hour
  • 10 tons or more - three shillings and threepence (3/3) an hour
  • A cleaning charge of five shillings (5/-) a crushing was made
The first manager was Mr James Drysdale, and the last (who finished in 1989) was Mr Jack Cocks, who also managed several of the other five batteries still operating in Victoria at that time. 

In 1937 there was a total of 32 batteries operating in Victoria and the method of charging had changed so much per ton crushed to so much per yield per ton, as follows:-
  • 2 dwt (pennyweights) or under - per ton - four shillings (4/-) per ton
  • Over 2 dwt and up to 4 dwt - per ton - four shillings and sixpence (4/6) per ton
  • Over 4 dwt and up to 6 dwt - per ton - five shillings (5/-) per ton
  • Over 6 dwt - per ton - six shillings (6/-) per ton. 
If the yield was less than 10 dwt per ton, there were concessions for cartage:-
  • When carted over 2 and under 5 miles one fourth of the crushing charge could be deducted.
  • When carted over 5 and under 10 miles one third of the crushing charges could be deducted.
  • When carried any distance over 10 miles one half the crush charges could be deducted.
Information supplied by the Korong Historical Society.





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