|Roxburgh. Clutha River.|
|At Roxburgh. Clutha River.|
The area of trees on the far side of the river is the 'Ladysmith' gold mining area which was hugely significant in those years. You will note the names of the era, both in regard to the Boer War, and the Queen Victoria.
In the early 1900s the gold dredges were at their peak. With about 100 dredges on 150 km of river. Victorian Technology at it's best.
|Multiple dredges on the Lowburn flats. About 10km from home.|
|Lady Ranfurly. The most successful of all time.|
|The Austral-NZ gold-dredge at Lowburn, the world's largest gold-dredge|
But the human spirit springs eternal. Recently, about 100 years after the peak of the lady Ranfurly success there is another dredge on the river. About 80 kilometers downstream someone else is giving it a go. The "Cold Gold' dredge started up for about six months ago. Then ceased for modifications and now is back in operation. It seems to be using a suction technique rather than buckets. It's not a huge multinational, but you don't run a labour and fuel intensive dredge like this cheaply either.
They are still there, so they must be doing ok. But as with all who follow the fascination with gold. They are not saying much.
|2013. Still spending big money on chasing gold. Modern Gold dredge|
|The constant drone of big powerful machinery drifts across the water. Modern gold dredge|
About the same size as the Lady Ranfurly. Diesel not steam.