This isn't a good photo as I haven't given any indication of size or scale, but take my word for it, its huge.
Machine: Dump Truck
Model: Caterpillar 777C
Capacity: 85 - 100 tonnes
Overall weight: 150 tonnes gross
Diesel Consumption: 90 litres per hour
Transmission: automatic 7 speed split shift
Tyres: $11,200 each, 6 on each truck
(thanks to information provided by Newmont Waihi Gold)
Each truck takes about 15 minutes to complete a round trip from the bottom of the mine to the crusher and return.
If you are interested in some of the history of goldmining in NZ, and particularly that of Martha's Mine, make sure you visit the museum, on the end of the mine in Waihi.
Gold was found in Waihi in 1878 and there are some good examples of old machinery used since that time.
Waihi, on the scenic route from Auckland to Tauranga, is the home of one of New Zealand's 2 only working goldmines. Martha's Mine was once one of the world’s most important gold and silver mines, and today remains operational, producing $1 million of gold and silver a week.
The waste rock and tailings from processing at the mine is carried by conveyor to a tailings area several kms away. The waste rock embankments are being progressively restored to farming land.
The town of Waihi was built around the underground mine that operated from the 1880s until its closure in 1952. The mine was then opened in the 1970's again but is now due for closure around 2007.
On a recent visit to a very small North island town I was amazed when I was served 5 star food. The Waitete Orchard Café & Ice Creamery 31 Orchard Rd, Waihi, New Zealand is a bit of a pain to find but worth the effort.
It is medium priced but the food is fabulous. The selection included wild game dishes (hare, venison, pheasant) as well as steaks, seafood and lamb. The thing that makes it unique is the chef (german) who brings 30 years of international hotel experience to the table. Beautiful presentation, great flavours.
Favorite Dish: They have really good red cabbage that is pickled. Seems odd to have here but if you like German food you will appreciate the real thing. I liked the fact that they brought you sorbet between courses to clean your palate.
Favorite thing: Well the town of Waihi has existed for many years on the gold mine. Even now they still extract a nice amount. I guess it will soon come to an end, and then they are left with a huge hole in the ground.