Gold in the Hauraki fields was encased as minute particles in quartz reefs; the underground miner’s work was to excavate the gold-bearing quartz. A network of horizontal (shafts and rises) and vertical (drives and levels) passages were created to reach the quartz reefs. The quartz was wheel-barrowed back along the levels or raised to the surface in a cage powered by a winding wheel (jenny wheel) operating at the surface. The quartz would then be transported to a battery, where it would be crushed to allow the gold to be extracted.
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Source: Tony Nolan, Historic gold trails of the Coromandel. Wellington: Reed, 1977, p. 11