Location 352
Location #352 - Antimony Smelter
Map 6

Cairnmuir Road


Slaughteryard Hill


Location #352 - Antimony Smelter Slaughteryard Hill, northern slope. Cairnmuir Road, approx 185m east of the intersection with Bannockburn-Nevis Road. Up the slope from Cairnmuir Road fence about 16m.

Still Standing


Construction Details

Brick on stacked stone and mortar foundation

Location Type


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Interested Parties

The table below shows the groups of people that had an interest in this property, either as owners, residents, tenants or shareholders. Clicking on the 'Details' link will display a list of the individuals in the group along with any known historical information about them.

Group Date Description
1 1882 The Carrick Range Antimony Company Details
2 1883 William Sutherland Details


The table below shows any historical notes about the location.

Note Date Short Description Note Text
3205 1882 Location of the smelter. The smelter was located on Slaughteryard Hill, approx 47.2m west of the cattlestop on Cairnmuir Road. Upslope from the Cairnmuir Road fence by approx 16m. Part of the stone foundation still exists on the eastern side of a large tailrace / sludge-channel from later gold workings on the top of the hill. The smelter site is approx 45m north west of the original Excelsior coal mine portal (location #179)
3206 1882 Opening of the antimony smelter. From Cromwell Argus 11 Jul 1882. A grand opening ceremony and function was arranged at Richards Hotel (location #115) for the 150 invited guests. Mr Buchan spoke first and said that " he an Mr Pryde first discovered the antimony lodes 9 1/2 years ago, and then opened up the mine with the help of Mr William Watson. The company had employed a smelter manager from Sydney Australia, a Mr McTavish. He said that he had inspected the mine and that is was one of the best in the colonies. The ore was up to 50% antimony. The smelter had been imported from Melbourne and was the first in the colony. The antimony would be worth £30 per ton. The smelter could treat 20-30 tons of ore per week, with an estimated recovery of 50% stibnite. 20 tons of coal per week would be required to fire the smelter. This would be supplied from the 'Excelsior' coal mine nearby. Tenders had been let by the company for the carting of 250 tons of ore per week. The venture would employ up to 70 men. To date the company had spent £2000 " The manager, Mr McTavish then turned on the tap of the smelter and 200lb (90.6 kg) of molten antimony flowed out into moulds. While the ingots cooled, the speeches continued. Mr Buchan then made a rather wild statement. " He had made a calculation of the gold on the Carrick Range, over an area of 30 sq miles (77.6 sq km) to a depth of 1500 feet (456m). One fifth of a grain of gold per yard would yield thirteen million pounds and give employment to 800 men for 100 years " he went on to say that he was convinced that mining for silver, along with other minerals such as cinnibar (mercury ore) and graphite would become an industry in the district. "
3207 1882 New smelter manager appointed. On Oct 3, the Cromwell Argus reported that the company had appointed a new smelter manager, Mr Thomas Martin from Victoria, Australia who came with fifteen years experience. It was reported that the ore was being carted from the works and that smelting would resume soon.
3208 1882 General notes. It appears that only nine tons of ore had been mined after the opening of the smelter. The vein of stibnite ran out a short distance below the surface. The company then began to explore with a shaft. It should be mentioned that antimony lodes are notoriously patchy in all parts of the globe. Strong, well defined continuous bodies of this ore are practically unknown. Therefore, to prove the extent of the ore body, it is necessary to open out a large area of ground, and in order to maintain the mine as a going concern, development work must be kept well ahead of the stoping requirements. Unfortunately, the shaft did not find any more ore and the companies situation went from bad to worse.
3209 1883 The company went into liquidation. In March of 1883, the smelter works were taken into execution by the bailiff at the suit of William Sutherland. A public meeting was held and it was decided that the company would go into voluntary liquidation.


The table below shows a list of images related to the location. Click on 'View Image' to display more details about the image, and to view the image.

Image Id Source Date Short Description
663 Paul Crump - Bannockburn 2001 Location #352 - Antimny Smelter site. View Image
664 Paul Crump - Bannockburn 2001 Location #352 - Antimony Smelter Site View Image
2392 Paul Crump - Bannockburn 2002 Location Plan View Image
2393 See details below 1884 Details of Antimony Smelter - location #352 View Image
2395 Paul Crump - Bannockburn unknown Typical Clamp Kiln View Image