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Colchough's Mine (Lucknow company), Bendigo, Central Otago District, Otago Region, South Island, New Zealand

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 44° 55' 52'' South , 169° 21' 32'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -44.93116,169.35912
Köppen climate type:Cfb : Temperate oceanic climate

The reef was discovered by Charles Colchough in May 1869, a long time after the goldfield in general was discovered in 1862. The success of the Cromwell Company mine on the Logan Reef, led to a renewed search for auriferous quartz reefs in the area, leading to Colchough's discovery.

The Colchough Quartz Reef Mining Company was formed with 8400 pounds capital spread amongst mainly Dunedin businessmen. The mine opened November 1869, with the first crushing at the Aurora battery finding enough gold to warrant the company purchasing a second hand battery. Subsequent crushings were poor, and the mine/plant was sold in September 1872.

The Lucknow Quartz Reef Mining Company was formed to take over the mine with twelve shareholders. Charles Colchough still held an interest in the new company, however he had little involvement, his time spent at leases he owned in the Carrick Range, as Cromwell auctioneer, mining agent, town clerk, and mayor.

A new tunnel was started, reaching 600 feet long. The battery was overhauled in 1875. Results across this period were still poor, and the mine was let on tribute in 1877 to Charlton and party. They abandoned the mine is 1878, and in 1885 the battery was shifted to Whites Reef in the Old Man Range elsewhere in the district.

The reef strikes east-west, dipping slightly south, 3 feet wide, consisting of quartz one foot wide either side, and mullock in the centre. Within the reef is found quartz, gold, and arsenopyrite. There is a second reef parallel to the main one.

Mineral List

3 valid minerals.

Regional Geology

This geological map and associated information on rock units at or nearby to the coordinates given for this locality is based on relatively small scale geological maps provided by various national Geological Surveys. This does not necessarily represent the complete geology at this locality but it gives a background for the region in which it is found.

Click on geological units on the map for more information. Click here to view full-screen map on

0.0117 - 2.588 Ma

ID: 1309184
Early Quaternary till deposits

Age: Pleistocene (0.0117 - 2.588 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Pakihi Supergroup

Description: Till deposits comprising pebbly to bouldery gravel, sand, silt and mud.

Comments: Zealandia Megasequence Terrestrial and Shallow Marine Sedimentary Rocks (Neogene)

Lithology: Gravel, sand, silt, mud

Reference: Edbrooke, S.W., Heron, D.W., Forsyth, P.J., Jongens, R. (compilers). Geology Map of New Zealand 1:1 000 000. GNS Science Geological Map 2. [12]

Middle Pleistocene
0.126 - 0.781 Ma

ID: 1353117
OIS12 (Middle Pleistocene) glacier deposits

Age: Pleistocene (0.126 - 0.781 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Lindis Formation

Description: Till consisting of moderately weathered, poorly sorted, bouldery sandy gravel with silt lenses.

Comments: Middle Pleistocene glacier deposits. Age based on C14, U-Th dating

Lithology: Major:: {till},Minor:: {boulders, gravel, sand, silt, clay}

Reference: Heron, D.W. . Geology Map of New Zealand 1:250 000. GNS Science Geological Map 1. [13]

Triassic - Permian
201.3 - 298.9 Ma

ID: 3189657
Paleozoic-Mesozoic crystalline metamorphic rocks

Age: Phanerozoic (201.3 - 298.9 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Haast Schist

Comments: Caples Terrane

Lithology: Metawacke; greenschist/almandine amphibolite grade metasedimentary/metavolcanic schist

Reference: Chorlton, L.B. Generalized geology of the world: bedrock domains and major faults in GIS format: a small-scale world geology map with an extended geological attribute database. doi: 10.4095/223767. Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 5529. [154]

Data and map coding provided by, used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License

This page contains all mineral locality references listed on This does not claim to be a complete list. If you know of more minerals from this site, please register so you can add to our database. This locality information is for reference purposes only. You should never attempt to visit any sites listed in without first ensuring that you have the permission of the land and/or mineral rights holders for access and that you are aware of all safety precautions necessary.


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Hutton, F.W., Ulrich, G.H.F. (1875) Report on the Geology and Goldfields of Otago, Appendix 6- Auriferous Reefs of the Bendigo District, Mills Dick and Co., Dunedin.
Bristow, P. (1997) A Brief History of Mining at the Bendigo Historic Reserve, Otago Conservancy, New Zealand Department of Conservation, August 1997.

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