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Plutus Mine (Waikoromiko; Lord Charles Beresford), Waikoromiko, Coromandel peninsula, Thames-Coromandel District, Waikato Region, North Island, New Zealand

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 36° 42' 55'' South , 175° 31' 58'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -36.71534,175.53301
GeoHash:G#: rckz4k5jx
Köppen climate type:Cfb : Temperate oceanic climate

The Plutus Mine existed in one form or another from the time the goldfield started in 1868 until 1908, and again in the 1950's. Historic gold mine.

The first notice of the Plutus Gold Mining Company was 1873, with most activity found in 1874, when it opened its battery. Au-Ag is found in quartz veins associated with pyrite and electrum in propylitic altered grey hornblende andesite. Fine pyrite cubes were exposed in the creek. Abundant alluvial gold was found in the Waikoromiko Stream in the early days.

The No. 2 level was driven for 320 feet, said in one source to have been rich in gold, except for 20 feet where the reef pinched. A winze was sunk below the No. 2 level for 80 feet, and another at 50 feet deep.

New mine manager, John Goldsworthy, abandoned the No. 2 level early 1875, to concentrate on the No. 3 level. He intended to drive this to the east through the spur. It is assumed this exhausted the capital for the company, with little gold found, as no information was found until 1885 when the company is liquidated, and its assets sold.

Activity hit a low ebb during the 1880's. However in the mid 1890's there was a gold speculating bubble in London, for Australiasian gold mines. This had largely been generated by a few spectacular gold discoveries in Western Australia. A small number of investors became very rich, while many others lost their money in low grade deposits, director fees, lavish batteries and mine manager residences, and dodgy characters.

The Waikoromiki Gold Mining Company was formed in 1897, with two drives commencing, one under a winze where gold was found in the Plutus, and another on the western boundary.

The Beresford Gold Mining Company was formed in 1908, named after Lord Charles Beresford, a British admiral and politician. Its lease covered part of the old Plutus claim. A low level was driven 240 feet, and that was the last heard from this company.

In 1896 Lillas (Lillis-relative?) and Ryan took out three bags of ore from the lease next to the Waikoromiki at the head of the valley, obtaining 123 ounces. Their next crushing of 2 tonnes of ore produced the remarkable yield of 225 ounces of gold. This area was subsequently incorporated into the Waikoromiki lease.

Lillis and Kayser were working the deposit in the late 1950's, at the time described as two auriferous quartz veins up to 3 feet wide, dipping west 35 degrees, and the other west 70 degrees. The walls were sampled by A. Fleming who was looking for base metals. Galena and sphalerite are noted. The author states he was unable to find the main entrance to the mine, and it is likely many of the old leases in this area can be considered lost localities.

Mineral List

3 valid minerals. 2 erroneous literature entries.

Rock Types Recorded

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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 - 2.588 Ma

ID: 3187411
Cenozoic volcanic rocks

Age: Pleistocene (0 - 2.588 Ma)

Lithology: Ignimbrite(s); felsic volcanic rocks; rhyolite

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]

5.333 - 23.03 Ma

ID: 1308094
Coromandel Group Miocene andesite and basaltic andesite lava

Age: Miocene (5.333 - 23.03 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Coromandel Group

Description: Andesite and basaltic andesite lava, tuff and tuff breccia, agglomerate and pyroclastic flow deposits; andesite, diorite and dacite dikes and subvolcanic intusions.

Comments: Zealandia Megasequence Extrusive and Intrusive Rocks (Neogene)

Lithology: Andesite, tuffite, tuff-breccia, agglomerate, pyroclastic material, andesite, diorite, dacite

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]

Tortonian - Burdigalian
7.246 - 20.44 Ma

ID: 1349694
Kuaotunu Subgroup andesite and dacite (Coromandel Group) of Coromandel Volcanic Zone

Age: Miocene (7.246 - 20.44 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Kuaotunu Subgroup

Description: Basaltic andesite, andesite and dacite intrusives, flows, volcaniclastites and volcanic epiclastites.

Comments: Neogene igneous rocks. Age based on K-Ar

Lithology: Major:: {andesite},Minor:: {dacite}

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

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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New Zealand Herald newspaper (1873) Plutus, Vol. X, issue 3746, 12 November 1873.
New Zealand Herald newspaper (1875) The Goldfields, Vol. XII, issue 4166, 22 March 1875.
Thames Advertiser newspaper (1885) Thursday 12th November 1885 Noon. By Order of the Official Liquidator. Plutus Gold Mining Co. (Limited), Vol. XVI, issue 5321, 11 November 1885.
Auckland Star newspaper (1896) Waikoromiki. A Splendid Return, Vol. XXXVII, issue 220, 17 September 1896.
New Zealand Herald newspaper (1897) Another Company Formed, Vol. XXXIV, issue 10382, 05 March 1897.
Otago Daily Times newspaper (1908) New Mining Venture, issue 14201, 30 April 1908.
Kear, D. (1958) Notes of four minor sulphide prospects near Coromandel. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 1:3, 514-518.
Christie, A.B., Simpson, M.P., Mauk, J.L., Brathwaite, R.L., Simmons, S.F. (2007) Epithermal Au-Ag and related deposits of the Hauraki Goldfield Coromandel Volcanic Zone New Zealand, Economic Geology, 102:5, 785-816.

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