Miners Cove
Great Barrier Island

Click-here for Larger Photo - Situated at the north-western end of Great Barrier Island, New Zealand is Miners Cove. Previously there existed a mining settlement providing housing for the workers at the nearby coppermines. Includes photos and information on mining history. Click-here for larger photo
Miners Cove, Great Barrier Island

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Situated at the north-western end of the Barrier, Miners Head contained one of New Zealand's most extensive coppermines during the 1800's.

The coppermine was first worked in 1845. A prospector named Perry was the first to find copper deposits on the Barrier. These later provided a godsend to miners at Kawau Island, mostly Cornishmen, who shifted across to the Barrier after the Kawau mines closed in 1857. There they stayed for four years until the Great Barrier Company pulled out in 1861.

The Otea company reopened the mine in 1867, and actively continued until the beginning of the 1890's. Ore mined totalled 2,323 tons providing £30,000 in revenue.

Close to the coppermine at Miners Cove, a settlement was formed consisting a shop and the miners shacks. Today, remains of the settlement can be easily found, and includes a road with lot's of trails leading from it, to where the miners shacks once stood.

Extract from “The Southern Cross” dated 7th September 1865

Nearly everybody in Auckland has heard of the Great Barrier Island, and many who have arrived by sea have seen a range of hills which have been pointed to them as that island, but few have, with the exception of old settlers, any idea of the place beyond the fact that it can be seen from Mount Eden, and that it forms one of the leading marks of enterance to the Hauraki Gulf. Some little interest may therefore be felt in a short detail of what is going on there, and of what its resources consist.

From its northern extremity - the Needles, which are about 70 miles from Auckland - towards the south the land is very broken, and the western face is high and precipitous. On this part of the island there are no inhabitants, but the hills, which are high and numerous, abound with pigs and goats. The first appearance of habitation is a lofty point about four miles from the Needles, known as the Mine. Close alongside is a little bay, in which those engaged in working the mine reside. The mine is of copper, and the ore is said to be rich. It was worked some years ago with great success, but since that time it has, in common with all the land north of the southern extremity of Port Fitzroy (with the exception of the native reserve), passed into the hands of the Great Barrier Land, Harbour, and Mining Company, and has been worked but little, and that unsuccessfully. Lately it has been sold to Otea Mining Company, who are making active preparations to work it, and it is to be hoped it will be with success, as the captain sent out recently from England gives it a good name, and is confident it will soon return a handsome dividend to the company. The bay alongside the mine, and occupied by the miners, is a small one. Flat and very pretty scenery surrounds it, though it is subject to very violent winds. There is a store, and every convenience for workmen, engineers, etc. engaged at the mine.

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