Crushing the ore to reveal its treasure

The Rutherglen Gold Battery

The Battery is situated North of Rutherglen, in the Parish of Carlyle. Its purpose is to crush Quartz recovered from quartz reefs in Rutherglen District to recover the gold.

The first Government Battery erected for this purpose was in L899 and was located on the Gooramadda Road. lt was a three head battery which was staried on the 28th September, 1899. lt was later increased to a six-head battery in 1905. During a five-year period it crushed 110 tons of quartz and produced 628 ounces of gold.

The Present Battery

This site was close to the Rutherglen Quartz Mine and surplus water from the mine was used by the battery. The Battery requires 3000 gallons of water to crush 10 tons of quartz.

The battery was erected in 1908 and consists of a five-head battery, Wilfrey table, Bergin pan, portable steam engine and shed. Total weight 27 tons.

The first crushing took place on 23 December 1908. In August 1910 the steam engine was replaced with a suction gas engine of 16 horsepower, this enabled the battery to crush 10 tons of quartz in 16 hours at one-sixth of the cost of the steam engine. Electricity was connected to the battery in 1953.

The Wilfrey table was taken to Chewton in the late 70s. As well as providing a service for gold miners it was also used for recovery of tin. The rare and relatively intact site is of historical and scientific significance.