Here in History by Betty Laver

Here in History by Betty Laver

Manganese on Auckland Hill, Gladstone

Manganese mines had operated on Auckland Hill from the

late 1860’s. In the 1890’s, it was found that manganese was a

successful means of extracting gold from the complex ore leaving

the conventional stamper battery and mercury amalgamation

techniques behind. The Mt Morgan mine needed such a boost,

so a syndicate of men from Toowoomba eventually started work

on the manganese mine at the foot of Auckland Hill on the creek

side. The ore was regularly dispatched to Rockhampton by the

small vessel Cruiser and from there it was taken to Mt Morgan for

treatment. This project provided employment in Gladstone. The

first twenty tonnes produced were sent to London and the bulk of

the remainder of the ore produced was used in Queensland. In

1899 the Sea Gull carted manganese to Rockhampton for Mt

Morgan. The old shafts, which were sunk into solid rock, were

only partly covered by a rusting steel grate. In later years, they

become dangerous to the unwary climber who negotiated the

stone set of stairs that wound its way up Auckland Hill from

Captain Cook Park. With the shafts being right beside the stairs,

many incidents were reported of people almost falling into them,

especially at night.

Photo from Jimmy Harris -Manganese being mined on Auckland

Hill 1891.