Mobile Unit. Scheelite mining
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An interview with Mr Gaskill, of Glenorchy, who discusses scheelite mining.
Mr Gaskill has been in New Zealand for around thirty-two years. He originally came out to be a farmer, but moved into scheelite mining for better pay. The main scheelite deposit in New Zealand is located in Glenorchy, with another at McCrae's Flat in Central Otago.
The mine in Glenorchy was first worked in the 1870s. It was started by a Mr Watson, an ex-solicitor from Glasgow. Initially demand was small, but it grew with the use of scheelite in hardening steel. Mr Gaskill claims that New Zealand has the purest scheelite in the world. He gives details about the mine such as output, and the elevation at 6,000 feet at the highest - above the snowline. He says working at such an altitude is very healthy. The scheelite is transported down from the mine via horse-pulled sledges.
He then speaks about the price of scheelite. At the time of the interview the price is between £350 and £400 per tonne. Scheelite mining doesn't allow for sudden large fortunes as does gold mining, and the production is patchy - some months may be quite productive, and the next could be low. He says the industry would benefit from adequate financing, and that it would be "a very payable proposition".