The Rutherglen Gold Battery is located on the northern fringe of the township, an easy walk from the centre of town. Its purpose was to crush quartz from nearby quartz reefs and extract gold from within.
The first Government Battery erected for this purpose was in 1899 and was located on the Gooramadda Road. lt was a three head battery which was started on the 28th September, 1899. lt was later increased to a six-head battery in 1905. During a five-year period it crushed 110 tons of quartz and produced 628 ounces of gold.
Rutherglen Gold Battery is part of the Indigo Gold Trail www.indigogoldtrail.com
The Present Battery –
This site was close to the Rutherglen quartz mine and surplus water from the mine was used by the battery. The Battery requires 3000 gallons of water to crush 10 tons of quartz.
The battery was erected in 1908 and consists of a five-head battery, Wilfrey table, Bergin pan, portable steam engine and shed. Total weight 27 tons.
The first crushing took place on 23 December 1908. In August 1910 the steam engine was replaced with a suction gas engine of 16 horsepower, which enabled the battery to crush 10 tons of quartz in 16 hours at one-sixth of the cost of the steam engine. Electricity was connected to the battery in 1953.
The Wilfrey table was taken to Chewton in the late 70s. As well as providing a service for gold miners it was also used for recovery of tin. The rare and relatively intact site is of historical and scientific significance.
The battery underwent restoration works in 2011/12 and is now available for public viewing daily between 9.00am and 5.00pm. Collect an access key from the Rutherglen Wine Experience & Visitor Information Centre to enter the battery and view informative storyboards and video demonstrations.
Large groups can be catered for, and demonstrations of the battery can be arranged by phoning the Rutherglen Historical Society on 02 6032 9425 or 0408 087 079