Waihi’s first gold rush
Gold was found in Waihi in 1878. John McCombie and Robert Lee discovered gold on Pukewa, also known as Martha Hill.
Underground mining commenced a year later, and by 1882 the first stamper battery was in operation. In 1894 the Waihi Gold Mining Company adopted the cyanide process for gold extraction, one of the first companies in the world to do so.
The town of Waihi expanded to service the mine. The Waihi School of Mines was established in 1897, and in the same year construction of the Victoria Battery at Waikino commenced.
The Mighty Martha Mine closed in 1952. For 70 years the mine employed a workforce averaging 600 people. During its life the mine extended to a depth of 600 metres and produced 5.6 million ounces of gold and 38.4 million ounces of silver.
We acquired the Waihi Operation in 2015 and have extended the mine life to 2036+.
Find out more about our Waihi Operation at https://oceanagold.com/operation/waihi/