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South German Mine

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S German Road, Maldon VIC 3463

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Features

  • Historic mine and battery site
  • Picnic tables
  • Undercover area
  • Walking tracks
  • Scenic dam
One of Victoria's largest gold producers in the 1890s, the South German Company operated during the late 19th / early 20th centuries and was one of the first mines in Australia to introduce the cyanide process for extracting gold from battery tailings. The South German Company installed a 20 head battery in 1886, which was later increased to a 30 head battery. With a decline in production towards the end of the century, the company installed an extensive cyanide and chlorination plant to re-treat the tailings from the battery, with great success. 

After losing the shoot of gold in the early 20th century, The South German Company spend years prospecting with little success before encountering trouble with water. The mine closed in 1918 when the shaft was flooded. 

A picnic area sits alongside the South German Mine site, consisting of an undercover area and several picnic tables. A short walking track takes you past ruins and remnants of the mine's machinery foundations, and down to the scenic South German Dam. 

The following article regarding the installation of the battery at the South German Mine was published in The Argus,10th November 1886:

The new battery of the South German mine at Maldon was started to-day. There was a large attendance. Miss Grey performed the ceremony, and christened the engine the "Maggie". The battery consists of 20 head of stamps in four boxes, driven by an engine of 50 h.p. nominal, supplied with steam from three Cornish flue boilers. This plant was purchased from a company at Clunes, consequently it is secondhand, but so new that the old parts are scarcely recognisable. It appears to be a most substantial plant. The company intends to crush the stone in its raw state. They have no means as yet of roasting the pyrites and sand, but intend to erect appliances for that purpose. After the quartz leaves the stamps it is carried over the usual wells and ripple tables, 12ft, long, covered with copper plates; then over percussion tables, known as Holley's; then over blanket tables 12 ft long. The tailings are then pumped up to a height, and run over tyes 20 ft x 20 ft, then passing on to be manipulated by a party of Chinamen. The pyrites and blanket sand are to be treated by the usual amalgamating barrels. The plant is enclosed in a very large and commodious building, and the cost of the plant £3,500. The contractor for the removal and re-erection was Mr. James Inglis, of Sandhurst, and Messrs. Horwood and Sons supplied the iron work. Mr Kennedy of Sandhurst and Maldon, is the consulting engineer.

Other interesting mining/processing sites throughout Maldon include:


 

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