Story: Gold and gold mining

Spoon dredge, Buller River, 1895

Spoon dredge, Buller River, 1895

The earliest dredges were spoon dredges – a leather or canvas bag tied around an iron loop attached to a pole (1). The spoon was dragged towards the bow by a winch (2) then lifted and the contents dumped into a sluice box (3). A pump (4) driven by a waterwheel (5) provided water for washing the gravel in the sluice box.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Tyree Studio Collection (PAColl-3064)
Reference: 10x8-0503; G
Diagram by John Barry

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Carl Walrond, 'Gold and gold mining - Dredging', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 17 June 2024)

Story by Carl Walrond, published 12 Jun 2006