Location 498
Location #498 - Coal Mine (Original Excelsior)
Map 3

Kawarau River


Kawarau River


Location #498 - Coal Mine (Original Excelsior) North face, toe of Slaughteryard Hill on the bank of the Kawarau River (now under Lake Dunstan) Approx 300m downstream from the present Bannockburn Bridge (#152)

Still Standing


Construction Details

Location Type


View Location on Map

Image Not Found

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 1867 - 1876 (?) J Stuart & W J Barry Details
2 1870 - 1876 (or 1882) J Nicol, J L Edwards and M Rhys (may have worked on tribute 1869-1870) and A McLoughlin may have worked on tribute 1870-1876. Details
3 1876 (or 1882) to 1882 John Pryde Details
4 1882 - 1883 Carrick Range Antimony Details
5 1883 Edward & Thomas McNulty Details


The table below shows any historical notes about the location.

Note Date Short Description Note Text
3552 1867 General notes. James Stuart discovered a seam of coal on the Kawarau River near the site of the punt (#157). He opened up the mine with the help of William Jackson Barry. The mine was named the 'Excelsior' Over Bannockburn's coal mining history the name 'Excelsior' has been used by various miners in different areas of Bannockburn, however this mine was the original 'Excelsior'.
3553 1867 Report from the 'Dunstan Times' - Nov 1 1867. ' Mr Stuart, the proprietor of the Bannockburn and Kawarau Ferry has discovered a seam of coal in close proximity to his punt, which seems likely to be of great value to the mining population of that immediate locality. It crops out for nearly 200 yards (182m) and the quality of the coal seems likely to prove equal to any as yet discovered in New Zealand. Mr Stuart has entered into some arrangements with Mr W J Barry who has placed a number of hands to work the seam. '
3554 1869 The mine was worked on tribute. The mine was worked by a tribute syndicate which included : James Nichol, John Edwards, and Morgan Rhys.
3555 1870 The tribute agreement changed hands In November of 1870, Mr Alexander McLoughlin brought out Nichol & parties tribute agreement with James Stuart. It is not clear how long Mr McLoughlin worked the mine (it may have been until 1876 or as long as 1882)
3556 1875 The Excelsior mine was up for sale. James Stuart advertised his 'Excelsior' coal mine for sale, but was unable to sell it.
3557 c1876 - c1882 John Pryde purchased the Excelsior. It appears that John Pryde purchased the Excelsior from James Stuart. This may have been in 1876 when James Stuart moved to Cromwell, or it may have been as late as 1882 just before the formation of the Carrick Range Antimony Company. Heart of the Desert states that John Pryde purchased the mine for the antimony company.
3558 1882 Mine purchased by the Carrick Range Antimony Company. The newly formed Carrick range Antimony Company purchased the Excelsior mine with the assistance of John Pryde. They built their antimony smelter (location #352) on the northern slope of Slaughteryard Hill, close to but west of the Excelsior. Twenty tons of coal per week was required to run the companies smelter furnace.
3559 1883 The antimony company is wound up. Unfortunately the antimony company was not a success and in March the smelter and mine were taken into execution by the bailiff at the suit of William Sutherland. The company went into voluntary liquidation at this time.
3560 1883 The McNulty brothers took up the lease on the mine. In May of 1883, the McNulty brothers took up the lease on the 'Excelsior' #498 previously worked by the antimony smelter company. It appears that they may have driven a new adit into the mine further up the hill from the original workings which may have been very close to the river and prone to flooding. This new access into the mine on what came to be known as the 'Cairnmuir Seam' became the 'Excelsior' Coal Mine #377. It appears that the original Excelsior may have been abandoned at this stage.


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