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Barberton Gold Mining History

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Barberton Gold Mines. Of the multitude of gold mines discovered and worked in the late 1880's, four are still being mined. They are: Agnes (Company: African Pioneer Mining) New Consort, Fairview and Sheba collectively known as Barberton Mines.

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Sheba Gold Mine


One of the first discoveries in the Sheba valley was the "Nil Desperandum Lode". While prospecting downstream from the Nil Desperandum Lode, Edward Bray (1824-1887) discovered the rich Golden Quarry which yielded 8 oz of gold per ton in a trial crushing. This led to intense prospecting and mining activity in the vicinity and numerous companies were formed.

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Agnes Gold Mine


Jack Greaves was a prospector from the UK and discovered gold here in 1888. The mine is named after his wife Jessie Agnes. The Jessievale plantation. 40 km south-east of Carolina, is also named after her. He sold the mine for 1000 pounds to A J Knuckley who later sold it to Rowe and Gibson.

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Fairview Gold Mine


Numerous individual mines operated within the confines of the Fairview property. One of the earliest producers from this area was the Kidson Reef Gold Mining Company Limited, formed in 1887. Fairview today, is the only gold mine in South Africa which has a biox plant to extract gold.

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New Consort Gold Mine


One of the oldest working gold mines in the world, established in 1885.

Peacock Gold Nugget.

peacock_gold_nuggetH W Peacock was a member of the Diggers' Committee. He discovered the famous Peacock gold nugget on 4 July 1912 at Coetzeestroom29, 1 km west of Kaapsche Hoop. It weighed 179,8 ounces (5,10 kg). It was purchased by Messrs Isidore Blankfield, Stewart Elington and G G Duncan (the B.E.D Syndicate) from the National Bank for £800. A model of this nugget was exhibited in Johannesburg in a glass case, while the original was disguised as a door stop in the home of G G Duncan, wrapped in green baize. Sufficient money was raised to take Blankfield to London where no one was interested in exhibiting the original nugget. It was then sold to the Bank of England and the syndicate lost £25 each on it. A model is in the British museum in London.
Acknowledgement Barberton Museum