|Parapara Hydroelectric Scheme Homepage Environmental Effects Assessment.. page 7 contents|
This Company bought a number of independent claims and began work on a much larger scale. Among the claims amalgamated were Glen Mutchin, Glen Gyle, and the Hit and Miss. The Red Hill Mining property was also taken over. The Hit and Miss claim in the Glen Gyle was worked so that the dividing ridge between the headwaters of Appos Creek was completely removed and the catchment of the Glen Gyle extended into what had been Appos Creek. More water was required. Contracts were let for the supply of steel pipes from Sparrows Foundry in Dunedin, for the tunnelling through the Glen Gyle Saddle, road construction from Collingwood to Appos Flat in July 1894 and later that month, work commenced on the dam at Richmond Flat.
The designed capacity of the scheme was 50 heads of water although this reduced to 15 heads in the driest summer months. (Bell 1907) (One head of water is 1 cubic foot of water per second.) Thus the design capacity was 1.41 cmecs reducing in summer months to 0.42 cmecs.
In 1895 the Company appeared to be in financial difficulties and work was suspended at Appos Flat however work continued in other areas, particularly Westbournes. In 1902 a new company, the Parapara Hydraulic Sluicing and Mining Company was registered and commenced work in the Parapara River with thirteen men, and some stability ensued for the work force with the building of a public hall at Parapara. Elevating at Appos Flat was undertaken down to a depth of 21 metres in 1911 using two lift stages. This operation ceased during WWI leaving the two large holes on Appos Flat.
Pipes and fittings from the water supply system were taken up and on-sold leaving only the concrete structures. The system of pipes had gradually shrunk back in distance from the initial working faces at Bassets and the number 1 and 2 Sluicing Claims in the same area of the Parapara. The tunnel exit into the Glen Gyle was boarded up and the roof subsequently collapsed.
Further small scale mining works were carried out during the depression of the 1930,s. For other detail refer to the Appendix 3: Watson K, Archaeological Report.
In 1973 L&M Mining obtained a prospecting licence to investigate the underground workings of the Collingwood Goldfield and as part of this investigation included the argentiferious galena (silver) deposits in quartz veins of Richmond Hill. This involved the formation of a road from the extension of the Goldfields Road past Red Hill to Greenwood Creek on the TLHS just above Richmond Flat to provide access for drilling equipment. This road possibly followed the alignment of the original road of the PHSC.
Goldfields Road is a recognised mountain biking track noted in a number of publications listing significant routes for this activity.
The area has been popular for hunting, particularly when the access to Richmond Flat was possible by vehicle or motor bike Hunting has decreased since the 1980's with the decline in the standard of the road to where it is now an overgrown walking track. Animal numbers of pigs and goats are at a high level with occasional deer. The walking track on the TLHS from Green wood Creek up the Parapara River is overgrown.
Improved access will most likely lead to increased hunting pressure and the opportunity to investigate the mining history and scenic values. Mountain bikers are likely to include a side trip to Richmond Flat. A round trip biking/walking option could be established to exit the lower Parapara at Bassets with a foot bridge over the Parapara River.
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