The end of the original Martha Mine

The end of the original Martha Mining did not end in 1952 because the Martha had run out of gold; the current operation is evidence of this. Rather, a series of factors led to a decline in production:

The international gold price was fixed at $US35 an ounce, limiting the revenue the mine could make.

The machinery needed to be updated, although the technology was available to do this, the money was not.

There had been two World Wars and the Depression of the 1930s, depleting manpower and creating a difficult economic climate.

It was not possible, given these factors to profitably mine the lower grade ore.

In the 1970s and early 1980s the gold price increased. Exploration and prospecting work identified the economic resource that is being worked today.


During the period Martha was mined, other claims were also registered. These included the Amaranth, Dulcibel, Rosemont, Union,Winner, Britannia, Old Waihi, Silverton, Nelson & Nut and the Young Colonial. Of those registered claims, only a few produced gold.

Some of the main producers (with their values in pounds) were:Martha Co./ Martha Extended Co. (1882-1886) £17,370. Union Co.(1885-1887) £2,375. Rosemont Co. (1885-1889) £932. Silverton Co.(1886-1889) £48,346. Union Waihi, Rosemont and Silverton Waihi Co's.(1887-1902) £107,048. Waihi Gold Mining Co. (1887-1954) £28,469,011. Waihi Grand Junction Co. (1897-1939) £2,739,623. Cassels Co. (reclaimed tailings, 1893-1896) £19,285.

From 1882 to 1954 the Waihi area produced a total of £31,403,981 worth of gold. At the Martha Mine, 11,932,000 tonnes of ore was mined, yielding 174 tonnes of gold and 1,193 tonnes of silver. This production of 5.6 million oz of gold and 38.4 million oz of silver, at today's bullion prices (April 2000) of NZ$550 per oz for gold and NZ$10 per oz for silver, would give a value of $NZ 3,108,000,000 for gold and $NZ384,000,000 for silver.