Monday, 18 July 2016


The Mercury (Hobart) Wednesday 29 September, 1909.


The principal part of the Waratah'scargo consisted of a large consignmentof lead and silver from the Broken HillProprietary Mines, which was loadedat Port Pirie, and was being conveyed bythe vessel either to Wales or to Germany, for refining. All this heavy material was stowed in the lower hold, together with a large quantity of what are known as zinc tailings - a residuefrom the De Bavay process used in recovering the by-products, one of whichis zinc, from the first stages of thesmelting of silver.

This newspaper extract confirms that concentrates / tailings could not be processed in Australia requiring export to the UK and Europe. Not only did the 1300 tons of concentrates provide essential dead weight ballasting they were destined for markets beyond Australia. Once loaded (1000 tons) inbound at Adelaide, there was no reason for off loading until Waratah returned to London. 


Stuart Flood said...

Interesting I have been reading about a ship called the General Grant that was wrecked in 1866 in the Auckland Islands. (about 300km or so south of mainland NZ in the Sub Antartic) 15 people survived and the wreck though 5 subsiquently died before they were rescued one on the Island and the other casualties set off in one of the two boats that got away from the ship for NZ and were not seen again. She was carring something called Zinc Spelter as ballast I am assuming it is something similar. Many serches have been made for the wreck of this ship as she also was carring some gold and many of the passengers were prospectors moving from Australia to Britain who had their personal wealth on them. Over the years the amount of Gold on board has been distorted and there is speculation that the spelter was also gold. over 150 years there have been numerous seraches of the west coast of the Auckland Islands which have not turned up any gold or a wreck that can be positively identifed as the General Grant. One expedition found the remains of a french ship called the Anjou and another has turned up a wreck called the Half Crown Wreck (it could be the General Grant on the basis of some of the artifacts recovered but the coins that have been recoverd date too early. Which means it could possibly be one of the many ships that have left Australia and never been heard of again.) Also being a wooden ship in a very storm tossed coast of cliffs and caves the General Grant has probably broken up completly.

andrew van rensburg said...

You are a fountain of interesting information, Stuart. I enjoy your comments. Andrew