BUSINESS & INDUSTRY
Birchfield Ross Mining Ltd
Gold mining, the traditional industry of the area is continued today by Burchfield Ross Mining Ltd, formed in 1988 to tackle a huge project in the town's heart.
This operation (pictured above), was the only example of deep level alluvial mining in New Zealand - and the largest open cast mine in the Southern Hemisphere.
The mine was 90 metres deep (45 metres below sea level) and 400 metres across at the widest point. Water was pumped out at a rate of 100 litres per second to enable access for trucks and diggers. On completion in 2003 the giant pit was sculpted and allowed to fill with water, forming a recreational lake.
Currently Birchfield Ross Mining Ltd is operating near the Ross Beach, where the working of heavy machinery can be seen from the road.