New Zealand’s Canvastown hosted its first rush of gold miners in
1864, changing the landscape and financial fabric of the region.
Now, 150 years later, Canvastown, located 31 miles northwest of
Blenheim, may experience another gold boom.
Elect Mining in Nelson, New Zealand, has
petitioned the nation’s government for resource consent to establish a
new mine in the town. The firm has already secured a mining permit
Zealand Petroleum and Minerals to extract gold from a nearly
300-acre site straddling both sides of Highway 6 in Canvastown. The
mining company believes the site holds 3,000 kilograms of gold worth
$120 million at current metal prices.
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While the Civil War raged in the United States in 1864, thousands of
miners flocked to this Australian region in search of riches. Using
pans, knives, shovels, dredging and ore-crushing equipment, they
worked tirelessly to unearth the precious metal from the ground.
The miners lived in tents made of canvas, giving the resultant town
that grew up around the mining area its name.
Gold was first discovered in the region in 1860 when Elizabeth
Catherine Pope found specks of the precious metals while washing
clothes in the Wackamarina River, according to an historic plaque
posted in town. Extensive quantities of gold weren’t located until
April 3 and 4, 1864, triggering the gold rush.
To read the complete story and what the future may hold for
Canvastown, visit here.