Friday, 29 July 2016


We know that Waratah's bullion hold held 300 tons (see image below).

LEAD INGOTS                                         7660 (27 tons)
GOLD BARS                                             7600 (105 tons)
SILVER BARS                                          7350 (2.9 tons - 12.5 ounce bars)
COPPER INGOTS                                   10710 (95.6 - 107 tons)

According to the loading plan: Central Wharf Stevedoring Company:

courtesy: David Willers' In Search of the Waratah.

...75 tons of copper were not stowed in the bullion hold, which held a confirmed 300 tons. Copper fell into the category of bullion and should have been stowed in this hold. It suggests that the bullion hold was full and could not contain a further 75 tons. If my calculations are correct, that would leave about 20 tons of copper in the bullion hold + 27 tons lead ingots + 2.9 tons silver bars + 105 tons gold bars = 155 tons. This figure is 145 tons short of the total 300 tons illustrated in the image.

It could be argued that the 300 tons of lead concentrates loaded at Adelaide (inbound to UK) could have been placed in the bullion hold, but this does not make sense in the context of 1000 tons of lead concentrates in number 3, lower hold. It would have been stowed in one gravity enhancing, enclosed consignment.

There has to be an explanation for the 300 tons in the bullion hold (above) and 75 tons of copper, considerably higher up (main deck - upper 'tween decks). That in itself is a mystery in terms of GM effect. If the bullion hold had been used for carriage of other cargo, the details would have appeared on the image. 

There must have been a significant amount of gold and silver bars on board Waratah when she was lost. I can see no other reason for the 300 tons. As in the case of the RMS Republic the details were not necessarily publicized and documented on the stowage plan, for obvious reasons. 

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