Macraes Gold Stamper

Well this isnt showing or telling but I suppose this is as good a spot to share this. I spent many happy hours here and used to know the guys who ran it - a chap Jim Callery and Hugh? Fraser.

After big floods here about 1981 I walked down the creek and got big chunks of Scheelite…it was every where.


that was a good find. love the old time machinery

You lucky sod Lammerlaw, I proposed to my wife beside the Golden Point Stamper - no idea why buy it seemed as good as anywhere. We have looked for scheelite and never found any. Do you have any suggestions on where to look?

I never proposed to my wife…on the third occasion I ever went out with her I took her for a trip to the Catlins… stayed at Keswick Convention Motel (separate rooms…I think she thought I wanted to park the pork sword) and went for a walk on the beach. As we were walking she took my hand which I pulled away and then I said " You will be wanting to get married next" and bugger my days she said “Oh Yes” - oh dear well bugger me… trapped. The most unromantic non proposal ever which led to the matrimonial thing.

She’s actually a really good sort and puts up with me and according to most people I know I tend to be an arsehole which means that she needs a medal.


The old man did that motor up in the early 80s he said it took him two days to get the piston out with a blow torch he had new rings made at hillside railway workshops. Then they run the plant to crush scheelite for Norrie groves and Eddie Frazer. We have some photos somewhere but can’t put my hands on the right now



Ha, a brilliant spot! Was there not long ago, so much to see, that short tunnel in the hill above where the old boy’s dropped the ore through a shaft to take to the crusher, simple but great engineering. Very similar to Hayes engineering work’s in Oturehua.

After floods in 1981 I walked down the creek and picked up many fist sized chunks of scheelite and have most of them to this day.

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There were a lot of tunnels there and in the early 1980s we used to explore them. Well above the tunnel you speak of there was a series of tunnels and one had quite impressive amounts of scheelite in it. I got a piece which was hollow with quartz crystals in it - still have it. Behind Jim Callerys house we used to explore the mines and they went down three or so levels. It was a lot of fun exploring them. In some of the pillars that held up the roof we took quartz specimens and crushed them up for fine gold. I still have a milk bottle - no it isnt made of plastic - with a hand ful of tiny quartz pebbles each one with a microscopic hint of gold in it.


Came across some video footage I did at Macraes Mine open pit & the old stamper at Deep Dell that I thought you guys might enjoy.

Ore truck grinding it way out of the Fraser open pit

Ore storage bin & outside area of the old stamper

The old Callery stamper battery

Merry Christmas to you all.

JW :cowboy_hat_face:


The piece of Scheelite ore which I mined from a tunnel back about 1973 plus a 3kg ‘nugget’ of scheelite, just one of many I found after a flood in 1981.

The scheelite from the tunnel is interesting as it is the only piece I ever found which had a hollow with crystals of quartz in it.


Sweet, I was working around the area a while ago unfortunately, and up the golden bar road were some great adits, been cleaned out by mine workers however, according to the locals…
Was heaps of gear, wheelbarrow’s, pick’s, shovels, etc.
That mine is growing, can now see it from ranfurly.

Old Callery once told me that one night there was a loud noise similar to the rumble of thunder and next morning it was discovered that one of the mines had suffered a cave in burying tramlines and all gear and had never been reopened.


Excuse my ignorance Graham, but how do you know it is scheelite? I think I read or heard that a uv light shows it up as a certain colour. Merry Christmas.

JW :cowboy_hat_face:

Many features identify it as scheelite. At Glenorchy it seems to have a distinctly gray tinge to it but Macraes is typically a straw colour and also the Waipori scheelite has the distinctly straw colour.
When water worn it appears to wear easier than quartz so that if you see the scheelite rock in my last photo you will notice that the quartz has worn less than the scheelite and stands proud of the scheelite.
There is quartz in both the water worn rock and the piece I mined and the scheelite is determined by the straw colour.
The weight is also a dead give way as it is very heavy as its specific gravity is around 5.9 to 6.1 and that compares with quartz at about 2.65 to 2.75
Yes you are right about UV light - it shows up clearly under uv light - a blueish colour under short wave uv.
IF and its a big ‘IF’ I can find my uv light, courteousy of the nice lady in a certain Government department about god knows how many years ago, I will take a photo of the two specimens above so that you can see the scheelite and determine it from the quartz.

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Thanks Graham. Yes of course…it is a lot heavier than quartz…& why it pissed off the gold miners & more so the hard rock miners having to deal with the sands of scheelite in their concentrates. Until of course the scheelite became worth more than gold during war time for its tungsten properties. Giving the Glenorchy mines a continued life. I hear there is renewed interest in the scheelite mines there.

Hope that old bugger with the red sock hat white hair & whiskers, & I am not talking about you :joy:, was kind to you Christmas morning.

JW :cowboy_hat_face:

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I dont know if that was good business as the scheelite became valuable during the war and was shipped overseas - and then shot back at us as Artillery shells.

Father Christmas wasnt too bad to me over Christmas but I am still waiting for my wifes present - apparently she was enquiring in Farmlands for rat Poison so now I am testing all my food out on the neighbours cat. My daughter gave me one of those Salt lamps - it says on the box that they are good for calming you but my son gave me several things including one of those fancy electronic scales for weighing gold so I have finally caught up with all you guys but I dont get any gold now days so I am restricted to weighing peanuts.


I got a nice book on gold mining in waiuta.
I need a very small set of scales for weighing my nuts.
rat poison . not good. I got told my wife was looking for leg hold gin traps , so now im watching where im sitting or I may need a big set of scales to weigh the nuts.

Your comment re the sheelite being shipped overseas & then fired back at “us” as Artillery shells. I believe the Germans were buying up scheelite big time for their war effort for the first world war. Of course once that war broke out all scheelite exports were controlled by the government & even the mines too & exported to the motherland.
How’s the neighbours pussy?:joy: All the best for 2020.

JW :cowboy_hat_face:

Waiuta By Ed Chandler - I bought a copy in 1969 - during another life, along time ago. Little did I know that I would end up living near there for a while.