Ballarat Quartz Crushing Company

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Ballarat Quartz Crushing Association scrip certificate[44]

The Ballarat Quartz Crushing Company existed for a short while from the end of 1857 to the start of 1859 without actually conducting any quartz-crushing. The company was formed by James V. Penrose as a vehicle for the realisation of his invention, a type of quartz crusher that used rollers rather than stampers.[1] The company obtained the mining claims formerly held by the Port Phillip Company at Black Hill, causing alarm amongst the miners already on Black Hill regarding potential encroachment.[2]

Plans to construct Penrose's crusher were put aside in favour of setting up a conventional stamper (at least initially) when a Melbourne engineering firm expressed doubt that the crusher would be practicable and estimated the cost at over four times that of a 36-head stamper.[3] (To put this into context, a year later the largest stamping mill in Ballarat utilised 24 stamping heads.[4])

The failure of the company appears to be due primarily to difficulties raising finance – in the end several shareholders were sued for outstanding calls – but The Star also attributes its failure to "crude projection" and "dubious management".[5]




THIS is to notify that James Vivian Penrose, of Ballaarat in the county of North Grenville, engineer, did, on the 20th day of October, deposit at the office of the Chief Secretary, in Melbourne, a specification, or instrument in writing, under his hand and seal, particularly describing and ascertaining the nature of the said invention, and in what manner the same is to be performed; and that by reason of such deposit the said Invention is protected and secured to him exclusively for the term of six calendar months thence next ensuing. And I do further notify that the said James Vivian Penrose has given notice in writing, at my chambers, of his intention to proceed with his application for letters patent for the said invention, and that I have appointed Monday, the 23rd day of November next, at Ten o'clock in the forenoon, at my chambers, to hear and consider the said application and all objections thereto; and I do hereby require all persons having an interest in opposing the grant of such letters patent, to leave before that day, at my chambers in Melbourne, particulars in writing of their objections to the said application, otherwise they will be precluded from urging the same. Given under my hand this 24th day of October, 1857.
THOS. HOWARD FELLOWS, Solicitor General.
W. H. RITCHIE, Agent for petitioner, 79, Chancery lane. No. 1450.[6]

December 12 THE PENROSE VICTORIA QUARTZ CRUSHING MACHINE. - A preliminary meeting of gentlemen interested in the progress of Ballarat, took place at Huxtable's Rooms on Thursday evening. The immediate object was to meet Mr Penrose, the patentee of a new process of quartz-crushing, for the purpose of hearing from that gentleman an explanation of the process of crushing by his machine, and to examine the drawings produced by the patentee. It was decided to form at once a sub-committee to report upon the desirability of organising a company, to be called "The Ballarat Quartz Crushing Company," and for the issuing of a prospectus, in which a full explanation of the process, and other particulars will be given. A respectable firm in Melbourne have already offered to take 500 pounds' worth of shares in any company formed here for the working of this patent, upon certain conditions.[7]


January 1 At the Local Court, "Mr Surveyor Cowan reported with respect to the application by the Ballarat Quartz Crushing Company for five acres in the Black Hill Flat, that portions only of the ground were auriferous. A plan accompanied the report. Mr Penrose appeared in person, and Mr Walsh in support of the application. The court recommended the lease on the condition that the company have their machinery on the ground within six months."[8]

February 23 to March 25 Ballarat Quartz Crushing Company. THE public are respectfully informed that the share-list of this company is being rapidly filled up, and that those who have intended to become shareholders should speedily forward their deposits. Temporary Office at Cowan's, surveyor. Hours of business, from 10 o'clock till 4 p.m. J. MISKELLY, Secretary.[9]

March 10 A MEETING of shareholders and others will be held in the Miners' Exchange, at eight o'clock this evening, 10th March, for the purpose of explaining the properties of Mr Penrose's patent, and shewing the estimated cost of the machinery, &c, to be used by the company. J. MISKELLY. Sec.[9]

April 5 Mr Penrose's company has not yet emerged from the inchohate state in which it has been for some little time now. Its formation, however, is going steadily on, though with what probabilities of speedy assumption of operations deponent wotteth nothing.[10]

May 6 to May 8 Ballarat Quartz Crushing Company. A PUBLIC MEETING of shareholders will be held at the Yarrowee Hotel, on Thursday, 13thMay, at half-past seven o'clock. JAS. PENROSE, Manager.[11]

June 10 to June 14 Ballarat Quartz Crushing Company. THE Shareholders of the above named company are requested to attend the first monthly meeting, which will bo held at 7 o'clock on Monday evening, 14th inst., in the Yarrowee Hotel, Main road, Ballarat. J. MISKELLY, Hon. Sec.[12]

June 17 Ballarat Quartz-Crushing Company. — A meeting of the shareholders of this company was held in the Yarrowee Hotel, on Monday evening, when the following gentlemen were selected as a committee:- R. Walsh, Esq , barrister-at-law, Messrs. Scott, Jennings, Hunt, Dove, Smith, Campbell, Carrington, and Walters. As soon as the act for mining companies shall have been published it is intended to register this company. In the meantime the first call of the L.I has been made. The shares have been very eagerly taken up during the past fortnight, and neatly fifty were paid for during the meeting. Mr. Penrose reported that there were now raised on the company's grounds six or seven hundred tons of quartz, and he was busily engaged in bringing forward and preparing the timber for the foundations of the engine and other apparatus. An office and storeroom have been already erected. The site of the engine and crushing-machine is being prepared, and very sanguine hopes are entertained that the work of crushing will be in full operation before November next. — Times.[13]

July 10 to July 15 BALLARAT QUARTZ CRUSHING COMPANY - The shareholders of the above named company are hereby informed that the treasurer to the company, Mr Thos. Redshaw Hunt, is authorised to received calls at his house, Prince of Wales Hotel, on Bakery Hill, Ballarat. By order, J. MISKELLY, Sec.[14]

July 12 The Ballarat Quartz Crushing Company are likely soon to make a start in good earnest we hear. Deposits have been paid on over five hundred (500) shares, we have been informed, and this is certainly a somewhat significant fact. Preparations have also been commenced on the Black Hill for the erection of the Company's engine and plant, so that we may expect to hear before long of the company having actually got to work upon their grant.[15]

August 12 QUARTZ CRUSHING COMPANY.-We are informed by the secretary of the Quartz Crushing Company, formed to test the value of Mr Penrose's patent, that on Tuesday last the first trial of the richness of the quartz was made at the claim, at the Black Hill. One lump of quartz, fourteen pounds in weight, was selected by Messrs Spencer Wilson, R. B. Gibbs, the secretary, and other members of the committee, and both before and after it had been burnt no speck of gold was visible, though carefully examined by all present. It was then pounded in a mortar, and when crushed yielded four grains of gold. Quartz similar to the above would yield an average of 1½ ozs to the ton. Several members of the committee then went into the company's tunnel, and knocked down several pieces of quartz, which showed a fair quantity of gold.[16]

August 18 to August 23 Ballarat Quartz Crushing Association. A PUBLIC MEETING of the members of the above-named association, will be held on Monday, 23rd inst, at seven o'clock, p.m., in the Prince of Wales Hotel, Bakery Hill, for the purpose of hearing the first report of the association, and to adopt such parts of the Model Instrument as are suited to the requirements of the said association. JOHN MISKELLY.[17]


We visited the recently commenced Works of this company yesterday (Friday), and are pleased, to observe that matters appear to have got into vigorous train already. Every one interested in mining enterprise feels more or less interested in the successful issue of Quartz mining, and by consequence in the working of every fresh experiment upon what must be indubitably the main stay and most lasting resource of the miner - the quartz reefs. It follows, therefore, that not only the share holders in the Ballarat company, but all connected with our gold field, must attach some importance to the results of the experiments about to be made with Mr Penrose's new patent under the auspices of the company in question at the Black Hill. Mr Penrose is a Cornishman by birth, a practical mechanic, experienced in mining and in machinery, and is thus a priori a likely person to hit upon a feasible method of profitably working our auriferous quartz. That he has given a large amount of time and labor, and expended a considerable sum of hard cash in prospecting and publishing his process, is another fact which, taken in connection with the support accorded to him by many intelligent and practical miners here, entitles his claims to our respectful - and we will add, hopeful attention. As many of our readers are aware, Mr Penrose ignores the stamping process, and relies for success upon a crushing roller, which by the action of reversing gear, traverses to and fro the trough or basin in which the quartz is deposited. By this process he proposes to reduce the quartz to an all but impalpable powder, from which every appreciable particle of gold may be extracted by the joint processes of washing and amalgamation. Of the merits of the individual patent we are unable to say anything. It is an experiment, and as such, has to earn its own reputation. We can only remark on this head, that the company have a large and extremely promising claim at the Black Hill, and they are going to spare no reasonable expense in carrying out the experiment in the completest manner possible. At the same time a wise economy appears to be in vogue with the management, while the highest hopes are indulged of not simply remunerative, but splendid success as the ultimate issue of their undertakings; hopes that will, we are sure, be echoed by everybody in Ballarat.

As we have remarked, the claim, or claims rather, of this company are at the Black Hill, running through from the flat to the Mopoke Gully lead, and comprising all the old shafts and tunnels in occupation some two years since by the Port Phillip Company. The face of the hill is now being cut down by the creek side, immediately above the engine house of the Waterloo Steam Sluicing Company, and a platform thus preparing on which to erect the engine house and crushing works of the company. Everything connected with the works is to be of the most substantial nature. The engine and crushing house will be built of stone quarried at the hill close by, and will be 100 by 32 feet, with walls 15 feet high. The platform, on which the building will be erected is about twenty feet above the flat below, space being thus afforded for a free off shoot of the tailings from the crushing house. The arrangement of the house will be very convenient. Tramways leading from an adit close by will connect the mine with the hopper on both sides, while the engine will be available for hoisting quartz brought by outsiders to the company's works for crushing. The erection of the building will be commenced in the course of next week.

The machinery will be of a ponderous and, therefore, costly nature. A beam condensing engine, of Glasgow build, of sixty-horse power, already lies at Fulton's yards, in Melbourne, awaiting the orders of the company, the latter firm being also engaged in the manufacture of the pair of rollers required in the process. For the engine and rollers the contract is £1,789, to which must be added some £300 for carriage to Ballarat, in the absence of the rail way that is to be. Besides the engine and rollers, however, from fifteen to twenty tons of castings, and the construction of like boilers, will have to be accomplished. This is to be done on the spot. Mr Penrose, who appears to be an "Admirable Crichton," in practical mechanics, and who is the manager the company, has undertaken this business himself. A furnace is to be erected on the ground, and all the castings and fittings made on the spot. Then two boilers are to be "built," with a diameter each of 6½ feet and 21 feet long, and an aggregate weight of some fifteen (15) tons. But this affair of the pair of rollers and pair of boilers is just to commence with merely. We are instructed that the engine will drive four pair of rollers, and will be required to do so should the works prove successful; but whether or not, the boilers are to increase in number in an equal ratio we leave to those more adept in these things. Mr Penrose computes that 100 tons of quartz per diem can be crushed with one pair of rollers. And if this be the case, and his rollers can be multiplied at pleasure, there is little doubt the pulverisation of the Black Hill itself is a matter of computable time with Mr Penrose, and he himself entitled to be termed in what Sydney Smith would call the American language, an "almighty smasher."

While these outside preliminaries are disposed of we will enter the company's adit on the hill side, and explore the penetralia within. The old workings of the Port Phillip Company consisted of two adits at different levels leading to a series of tunnels running in various directions, and communicating with the air by air-shafts from the face of the hill. The Ballarat Quartz Crushing Company have commenced by entering the higher adit, and setting off a cross tunnel in an easterly direction. This cross tunnel will reach the open air in the course of a day or two, and be the adit through which the empty trucks will be returned that proceed from the main adit, loaded to the crushing hopper direct. The main tunnel runs in a northerly direction, and is a continuation of the old Port Phillip tunnel in the same direction, but made larger and higher so as to admit of the use of horse power for purposes of traction ; the horse drawing the loaded trucks up an incline to the point where the empty ones are returned, and workmen pushing them down a decline to the crushing house. The length of main tunnelling already effected by the company is about five hundred feet, which will be extended to some 1700 feet by the time the Mopoke side of the claim is reached, besides cross drives in all directions, as the grains of the quartz may render desirable. The veins in the main tunnel are very promising, and have that rich iron coloring which the quartz miner so much delights in, with an average amount of the slaty debris which is equally welcome. The man ager informs us that about 1400 tons of quartz are already awaiting crushing, and, from experiments made, it is expected to yield an average of 2 ounces to the ton. Fourteen men are at present engaged on the works, the work going on night and day, in three shifts of eight hours each.

We have said so much already that we must hasten to an end, with a few remarks touching the constitution and prospects of the company. The capital consists of 1000 shares, of £10 each, 30 of which are given, besides a bonus of £700, to Mr Penrose for license to use his patent, anywhere within a circle of 12 miles diameter. In addition to tins, that gentleman has a salary, as manager of the company. Mr Miskelly, late clerk to the Local Court, is the secretary of the company. Nearly all the shares are taken up and the first call paid, and all the remaining shares are applied for; so that it is presumed that at the next Board meeting the whole of the shares will be disposed of. The mode of pay ment is £1 per month, and the number of holders is-about 200, giving thus an average of five shares per holder. The operations of the company are under the control of a board of management, and all the work is done by hired labor. The company have been de layed by the tardy appearance of Mr Ireland's " model instrument," but the Board has made selections therefrom for submission to a general meeting, to take place on Monday next, when the incorporation of the company will be finally determined, in all probability. Of the success of the venture there can be little doubt, if Mr Penrose's calculations are reliable, for he estimates a yield of seven (7) dwts. to be a remunerative yield, and that 25s per ton will be a paying price at which to crush for outsiders. At this rate, we presume, the prospects of the company are indeed brilliant, and we can very sincerely conclude this report of the enterprise by expressing the hope that the most sanguine anticipations of the projectors may be more than realised.[1]

August 24 MEETING OF QUARTZ MINERS. - A correspondent sends us the following report of the proceedings of the Black Hill quartz miners on Monday :- "A meeting of the quartz miners of the Black Hill took place on the hill this (Monday) morning at 10 o'clock, to take into consideration the necessity of forming a society for mutual protection against encroachment. The attention of the miners had been drawn to an article which appeared in the Star on Saturday last, in which it was plainly stated that the Ballarat Quartz Crushing Company intended to drive 1700 feet under the various claims, and which Mr Penrose, the manager, at the meeting stated was correct, telling the miners that they had nothing to do with it, as they were only fossickers on the hill. It was unanimously resolved that a deputation of three miners should wait on the warden, and request an order to allow a surveyor to enter their tunnel, and make a survey of the same to see that the company is making no encroachment on the claims working on the hill. To cover any expenses attendant on it, the miners came forward and subscribed 2s 6d each to the number of fifty-six. It should be stated that the great majority of the miners on the hill have been working there for from three to four years, most of them having shafts varying in depth from 50 over 100 feet, on which a great amount of labor has been expended, and all are proceeding with the working of the claims as rapidly as circumstances will admit of."[2]

August 27 NOTICE. - To the Ballarat Quartz Crushing Company - At a meeting of the quartz miners of the Black Hill, held on Wednesday morning, 25th August, the following resolution was unanimously adopted: "That this meeting decidedly objects to any drive or drives being made by the Ballarat Quartz Crushing Company through any of the claims now occupied by various miners on the Black Hill." JOHN A. RICKETTS, Chairman of the Meeting.[18]

August 30 to September 4 Ballarat Quartz Crushing Co. THE SHAREHOLDERS in this company are hereby advertised that the deed of partnership lies for signature at the house of the Treasurer, Mr T. B. Hunt, Prince of Wales Hotel, Bakery Hill, and also that the first call of £1 on each share must be paid on or before Saturday, 4th September, as the shares of defaulters will then become liable to forfeiture. The calls may be paid to the Treasurer. J. MISKELLY, Sec.[19]

September 2 The Ballaarat Quartz Crushing Company are about to erect their machinery. A meeting of the miners on the hill, in opposition to this Company took place, as the miners suspected encroachment on their claims. The money to make a survey was subscribed.[20]

September 8 to September 11 Ballarat Quartz Crushing Co. THE SHAREHOLDERS in this company are hereby informed that the second call of £1 per share must be paid on or before the 14th inst, and that a public meeting will be held on that date in the Prince of Wales Hotel, Bakery Hill, at seven o'clock p.m., for the transaction of important business. It is requested that all interested in the company will not fail to attend. Calls may be paid to the Treasurer. J. MISKELLY, Sec.[21]

September 9 NOTICE - A meeting of the Black Hill Quartz Miners was held to-day, (Tuesday), on the hill, to consider a request made to them through their representatives, appointed at the meeting on the 23rd of August, by the Ballarat Quartz Crushing Company, for permission to drive a tunnel through their claims to reach a claim of the Company's at the north side of the hill. The resolution passed at the meeting on the 25th ult., was confirmed, viz., "That the miners of the Black Hill decidedly object to any drive or tunnel being taken through their claims, and that any such working will be considered as an encroachment, and treated accordingly." Messrs Ricketts, Evans and Arnot were requested to continue as representatives, to which they consented. JOHN A. RICKETTS, Chairman of the Meeting.[22]

October 9 MR PENROSE'S COMPANY. - The Penrose or Ballarat Quartz Crushing Company, at Black Hill, are going ahead with their preliminary operations. The tunnel opening out from the Hill towards the site of the crushing house is completed, and further works in the drives are suspended; the attention of the manager being now directed to the preparations for the erection of the crushing house. The excavation for the site has been completed, and quarries are opened in the side of the hill above, whence capital sandstone is obtained for the purpose of the builder. Blocks of any size can be quarried, and the rolling down the hill to the building site immediately below is only a little too easy, inasmuch as it is absolutely dangerous without great care. The angle of declination is over 45 degrees, and when a large block of some two or three tons once gets under weigh, it is often difficult to manage its descent with safety to men and things below. The other day a block got unmanageable, and smashed a little wooden building, no person luckily being with in range of the unruly missile. The crushing house will be a substantial structure, and to judge from the piles of heavy engine timbers lying about, the fixing of the machinery is likely to be secure and substantial also. As we have already reported, Mr. Penrose expects to commence crushing early after Christmas.[23]

October 11 to October 14 Ballarat Quartz Crushing Company. THE SHAREHOLDERS in the above named company are hereby informed that the monthly public meeting will be held in the Prince of Wales Hotel, Bakery Hill, on Thursday, 14th October, at 7 o'clock p.m., and they are hereby further informed that all calls due at that date must be paid up, as the shares of defaulters will be forfeited. By order, J. MISKELLY, Sec.[24]

October 15 BALLARAT QUARTZ CRUSHING COMPANY. - (PENROSE'S PATENT). - The monthly meeting of the shareholders in the above company (we are informed) took place last evening at the Prince of Wales Hotel, Bakery Hill. The chair was taken by Mr R.B. Gibbs, and the usual reports having been adopted, it was decided that all the future contracts of the company should be submitted to public competition, and that a special general meeting of the shareholders should take place on Thursday next, to hear a financial report from the secretary.[25]

October 20 Ballarat Quartz Crushing Company. A SPECIAL GENERAL MEETING of the shareholders, will be held on Thursday evening. 21st inst, at seven o'clock, for the purpose of hearing a statement of accounts, and of deciding on other important business. As it is most desirable that the deed should be registered before the meeting, and as it must be signed in duplicate, the share holders are earnestly requested to call without delay at the office of Mr James Baker, where the Secretary will be in waiting from ten o'clock till four. By order, J. MISKELLY, Secretary.[26]

October 20 Ballarat Quartz Crushing Company. THE Secretary of the above-named Company may be seen at the office of Mr James Baker, between the hours of 10 and 4 every day. The company have made this temporary arrangement for the convenience of shareholders in paying their calls. By order, JOHN MISKELLY, Secretary.[26]


A special meeting of this company took place on Thursday evening at the Prince of Wales Hotel, for the purpose of receiving a report of the financial condition and general prospects of the Company. In the absence of the President of the Company, Mr Spencer Wilson was voted to the chair, a full attendance of shareholders attesting the interest taken in the proceedings. The Secretary read the minutes of the previous meeting, which were duly confirmed. The balance sheet was then read, during which process Mr. Walsh, the President of the Company, arrived, and took his seat at the table. The total expenditure for salaries, wages, contracts, and incidental matters was £1,335 17s 9d; proportion of said liabilities liquidated, £1,294 19s 0d, leaving a balance to the debit of the Company of £40 18s 9d. In answer to a shareholder the Secretary stated that the liquidations consisted of cash, calls, and labor in lieu of calls. The number of shareholders was about 690, of whom 169 had paid the first deposit only, 65 hid paid first call only, others had paid third end fourth calls, and one had paid his fifth share. The number of shares represented by the shareholders who had signed the instrument of incorporation in duplicate was 245. The Secretary then read the following Estimate by the Manager:-

Expenses likely to be incurred for the next three months in the works of the company:

One steam engine, 40 horse-power £650
Mason's work (labor only) 250
Quarrying 40
Carpenters' work and timber 250
Carriage of engine 120
Lime for building 60
Smiths' work and tools 100
Carriage of timber 25
Glaziers' work and materials 30
Labor and salaries 412
Printing 5
Incidental expenses 25

Messrs Gibbs and Hunt, of the Board of Management, took exception to the act of the manager in entering into a contract for £200 or £300 for masons' work without first obtaining the consent of the Board. The manager replied that he had been empowered to employ a mason, and in taking the contract he had done what he thought best for the company. The contract was put in showing agreement for 15s per perch, to be paid 80 per cent monthly of work done. The dissentients held that the manager had no business to take a contract in the face of Board instructions to the contrary. The chairman concurred. A shareholder complained of the "strange stupidity" which had prevented the secretary from supplying the company with a statement of the number of shares taken up and the calls paid thereon. It had been ordered two months ago, and a boy of sixteen years old could have done it easily. The secretary pleaded guilty, but urged extenuating circumstances over which he had no control. The chairman suggested, and it was moved by Mr Padley, seconded by Mr Stewart, - "That Mr Erlam, a professional accountant, be appointed to audit the books and prepare a balance sheet and complete total of share list with calls paid, to be submitted to another meeting on Tuesday next, the 26th inst." The resolution was carried. It was then moved by Mr Jennings, seconded by Mr Dove, and carried, - "That the deed be registered with the number of names at present signed." It was then moved by Mr Gibbs, seconded by Mr Bourditt - "That no further works be proceeded with till Mr Erlam's financial statement be laid before the Company. Mr Chester, the contractor for the crushing house, offered to throw up the contract if paid for loss of time. The motion was carried. The meeting then adjourned till Tuesday next at half-past seven.[27]

October 27 to November 2 Ballarat Quartz Crushing Company. THE SHAREHOLDERS are hereby informed that, the adjourned meeting advertised to be held this evening, at the Prince of Wales Hotel, is further adjourned till Tuesday evening, 2nd November, at the same time and place, as the time given is found by the auditor to be too limited for a careful examination of the accounts. By order, J. MISKELLY, Sec[28]

November 3 BALLARAT QUARTZ CRUSHING COMPANY (PENROSE'S PATENT). A meeting ot the shareholders in this company was held last evening at the Prince of Wales Hotel, on Bakery Hill. The chair was taken by Mr R. B. Gibbs. The Secretary (Mr J.Miskelly) read the minutes of the preceding meeting, which were confirmed. The chairman stated that he had received the balance-sheet, prepared by Mr Edam at the request of the company. It showed receipts on shares to the amount of £1322 6s 6d; and according to Mr Penrose's own statement; £229 was all that was owing, beyond a small balance left in hand. 688 shares were allotted to 214 shareholders. The Secretary stated to the meeting a series of statistics, which showed the exact number of the share holders and the amount they had paid; it appearing that 252 paying shareholders still remained. A letter from Mr Cuthbert, advising registration of the Instrument of Association, was read and it was stated that the manager had already taken that necessary step. The Chairman stated that in company with Mr Munday Wilson, he had waited on the Messrs Fulton, in Melbourne, with a view of asking them the price of the machinery. The reply of the Messrs Fulton was to the effect, that they did not believe in the practicability of Mr Penrose's patent, and could not make the machinery under £4,000, and would not guarantee that that amount would cover the cost. They would, however, complete the requisite machinery for working thirty-six stampers with a thirty-horse power engine, capable of crushing 50 tons per diem, for £1000. This it would take three months to complete. A long conversation then ensued upon the ways and means to be followed and adopted in raising the necessary funds. At length the Chairman pointed out the desirability of leaving financial matters to the new committee, whom they were that night to elect. The meeting then proceeded to elect the following members of committee :- Messrs R. B. Gibbs, Stewart, B. Walsh, Spencer Wilson, Chester, Blair, Hunt, Jennings, and the meeting, after a vote of thanks to the chair, adjourned till the 14th inst.[3]

November 8 to November 15 Ballarat Quartz Crushing Association. THE Shareholders are hereby informed that the fourth call will be due on the 15th November inst., and that the shares of all who, at the above date, shall not have paid their first, will be forfeited, or disposed of as the deed of partnership directs. The calls to be paid to the Secretary, at the office of Mr Jas. Baker, sharebroker, Sturt street. J. MISKELLY. Sec.[29]

November 15 BALLARAT QUARTZ CRUSHING ASSOCIATION - The usual monthly meeting of the shareholders will be held on Monday evening. 15th inst., at half past seven o'clock, in the Prince of Wales Hotel, Bakery Hill. JOHN MISKELLY, Secretary.[29]

November 16 BALLARAT QUARTZ COMPANY. - The monthly meeting of this company was held on Monday evening at the Prince of Wales, Mr R. B. Gibbs in the chair. The opening of proceedings .was delayed through the non- punctuality of the secretary, who narrowly escaped a vote of censure for his absence. The minutes of the previous meeting were read and confirmed, and the report of the committee was then read and adopted by acclamation. The report set forth that the duplicate deeds of partnership and grant had been deposited in the Court of Mines and the office of the Resident Warden respectively, and that the erection of a battery of 36 stampers had been decided on as a temporary arrangement, pending the completion of the Penrose patent apparatus, and the creation of a reserve fund. The Chairman announced that the committee had had 25 tons of quartz taken from the company's works weighed, bagged, and transmitted to the stamping machine of the Scandinavian Company for crushing, as a test of the value of the quartz. Care had been taken to have a person at the crushing house to receive the quartz and watch the process of crushing and washing, so that the company may be satisfied as to what their quartz was really worth. The manager, Mr Penrose, confirmed the statement of the chairman, and said that he had himself only just returned from the crushing machine, and that the 7 or 8 tons already passed through had given very satisfactory results, although the quartz selected had been of the poorest description. With regards to the procuring an engine for the company's stamping battery, the Waterloo Company's engine hard by was available, but the pur chase of that or any other would of course be a matter for future decision. The chairman intimated that the calls came in slowly, but that defaulters' shares would be forfeited, if not promptly paid. This announcement was received with cheers, and after a vote of thanks to the chair, the meeting adjourned till Thursday evening next, when the result of the crushing of the 25 tons would be laid before the meeting.[30]

November 30 TO QUARTZ MINERS. - We hereby certify that we have had twenty tons of quartz crushed at the crushing machine belonging to Messrs Holmes and Porter, Winter's Flat, and have great pleasure in stating that we are perfectly satisfied with the result, having carefully examined and tested the tailings without being able to detect any loss of either silver or gold. We also hereby testify that the new table recently patented by Mr W. O. Porter is far superior to the ordi nary tables, the result from it being 25 to 30 percent in its favor, this excess being gold of the very finest description.

Ballarat, 27th November.


The above patent table may be seen daily at work at the quartz mill, Long Gully, Winter's Flat, Ballarat. Any orders for same may be given to W. Ogden Porter, at Long Gully, or to James H. Dow, Esq., Port Phillip Foundry, Melbourne.[31]

November 30 to December 1 BALLARAT QUARTZ CRUSHING ASSOCIATION. - A meeting of the shareholders of this company will be held in the Prince of Wales Hotel on Thursday evening, 2nd December, at half-past seven o'clock, to hear the report in reference to the 20 tons of quartz last crushed, and for the transaction of other important business. (By order), J. MISKELLY, Sec.[31]


A general meeting of the shareholders of this company took place on Thursday evening, at the Prince of Wales, Mr R. B Gibbs in the chair, for the purpose of receiving the report of the crushing of 20 additional tons at Messrs Porter & Holmes's machine, and deciding on what further steps should be taken. The report set forth that the process of crushing had been carefully watched and showed the great superiority of Porter & Holmes's machine over that of the Danish Company. The experiment gave a yield just covering the expense of crushing only. The two experiments gave the following results:

Danish Company, 25 tons

Gold and amalgamation . . . £23 15 0

Expenses raising and crushing 72 6 0

Balance. £48 10 0

Porter & Holmes's Company, 90 tons

Gold . . . . . £22 9 0

Expenses . . . 47 0 0

Balance . . . . £24 11 0

The reports were received and adopted, and the manager then addressed the meeting, going into certain calculations, and recommending the continuation of the operations of the company, as he believed the operations would pay. Mr Stewart followed in confirmation. The Chairman thought that, even upon the manager's own calculations, the company would not pay. Further discussion pro. and con. ensued, great complaints being made on all hands of the dilatory way in which shareholders paid up. At length a motion was made and seconded - "That steps be taken to wind up the concerns of the company." An amendment - "That the company continue its operations," was moved, seconded, and carried. The Chair man then resigned his office as a committee man, saying he thought the company had better be wound up, and that he was tired of being connected with a company whose financial position was so unsatisfactory. It was then resolved that defaulting share holders be sued, those first who had paid the fewest calls. An irregular conversation followed, and at length the meeting broke up with a vote of thanks to the Chairman.[32]

December 4 The Ballarat Quartz Crushing Company have just resolved to go on with their works, but the operations of the company are likely to be sadly hampered by the non-payment of calls by shareholders. From all we have heard of the produce of the Company's ground at the Black Hill, and from the computations made by those who ought to know what they are about, we should say the company have a good chance of success. That is, if the calls are paid up, and the management thus placed in funds with which to erect a workable plant. If the company are to drag on a slow impecunious existence, they had better die decently at once; for sure we are they will never succeed with hampered hands in money matters. The truest economy in this department of mining is ample expenditure in plant of the most effective description; and if the share holders are not willing to bleed at first freely with a chance of thriving after wards, they will only adopt a niggardly course to ensure their own utter and inevitable failure.[33]

December 9 STICKING UP. - As Mr Penrose, the manager of the Ballarat Quartz Crushing Company, was passing over Soldiers' Hill about midnight on Tuesday last, and when in the hollow below Sweeney's old slaughter yard, he was met by a short round-shouldered man who asked for some tobacco, and upon being told by Mr Penrose he had none a tall man came up and, using some disgusting lan guage, seized Mr Penrose by the throat and told the other man to "Put a knife into the b------." They then rifled his pockets of two £5 notes, a £1 note, and some silver, and decamped in the direction of the Inkermann Lead.[34]

December 11 to December 13 BALLARAT QUARTZ CRUSHING ASSOCIATION.-A public meeting of the shareholders of this association will be held in the Yarrowee Hotel, on Tuesday evening, 14th instant, at half-past seven o'clock. (By order,) J. MISKELLY, Sec.[35]

December 15 BALLARAT QUARTZ CRUSHING COMPANY. — (PENROSE'S PATENT.) — A meeting of the shareholders of this company was held last (Tuesday) evening, at the Yarrowee Hotel, Mr R. B. Gibbs in the chair. Mr Penrose read his report. This document recapitulated the history of the company, which had had a twelve months' existence. It described what had been done, and the present liabilities ; and announced that though he (Mr P.) had not at present sued the defaulting share holders for the money due, which was re- quired to liquidate the claims on the company, he was putting affairs in train so to do. Resolutions were then passed, which authorised him again to proceed at once against those who had not paid their second or third calls, and after also authorising the committee to take the necessary steps to wind up the affairs of the company, the meeting adjourned.[36]

December 27 to January 7 BALLARAT QUARTZ CRUSHING ASSOCIATION. - A Special General Meeting of the Shareholders of this Company, will be held in the Yarrowee Hotel, on Saturday, 8th January, at half-past seven p.m., for the purpose of winding up the affairs of the Company, agreeably with clause 41 of the Instrument of Association. N. B. Shareholders can vote by proxy. By order, J. MISKELLY, Secretary.[37]


January 8 BALLARAT QUARTZ COMPANY. There was a not very numerously attended general meeting of the shareholders of this company at the Yarrowee Hotel on Friday evening, Mr R. B. Gibbs in the chair. The minutes of the previous meeting were read and confirmed. The chairman then intimated that the business was to determine whether or not the plant should be sold and the company dissolved. £40 only had been received since the 15th November, on calls still unpaid. Mr Penrose said promises of payment had been made for that night on some 40 shares. The chairman, in reply to a shareholder, said the liabilities of the company were £217 4s, of which £150 15s was due to the manager and secretary. After a few remarks, Mr Chester moved and Mr Jennings seconded- "That the Committee take immediate steps to dispose of the plant, claims, and stock of the company, and that the company be dissolved." The resolution was carried unanimously. Mr Hunt said he had been sued for his fourth call, and had refused to pay by advice. He wanted to know if the manager had been empowered to sue for that call, and if it was entered on the minutes. He regarded himself as one picked out, seeing that others were not sued who had not paid their second call. The manager explained that the reason was, Mr Hunt being one of the directors, and therefore bound to set a good example; and moreover, because he had refused to pay. Some further matters of detail were then talked over, and the meeting broke up.[38]

January 10 FRIDAY, 14th JANUARY, 12 o'clock sharp.

To Railway Contractors, Builders, Timber Merchants, Engineers, Miners, and Others.

JAMES BAKER has the honor to announce that he has been favored with instructions from the Ballarat Quartz Crushing Association, to sell by public auction, on the Company's Works, Black Hill, Ballarat, The Entire Plant of the Company, consisting of


92 pieces, 10 x 12 x 12 feet

22 do, 20 x 12 x 12 do

1 do, 35 x 12 x 12 do

11 do, 25 x 12x18 do

(The last-mentioned pieces are now lying at the Springs.)


1 house, 40 x 22 feet

1 do, 28 x 11 do

1 do, 15 x 12 do

1 do, 10x8 do


1 claim, 5 acres

1 do, 300 x 300 feet

1 do, 350 x 300 do


1 superior crab winch

3 shear legs, well mounted,

And Sundry other tools, ropes, crow-bars, picks, shovels, hammers, &c , &c, &c,

In calling attention to the above sale the Auctioneer would especially notify that the whole of the above valuable properties, will be sold WITHOUT THE SLIGHTEST RESERVE, and that the timbers are all squared, well seasoned, and peculiarly adapted for railway works, large buildings, bridges, engine beds, &c, &c.

To be sold in lots to suit purchasers.

Terms - Cash at the fall of the hammer.

Remember 12 o'clock, Friday, 14th January.

JAMES BAKER, Auctioneer, &c[39]

January 14 J. O. Penrose v Daugherty, £1 10s, third call of the Ballarat Quartz Crushing Co; settled. Same v Davies; settled. Same v Jones; settled. Same v Bell; settled. Same v Morgan, £2, third call Ballarat Quartz Crushing Co.; paid into Court. Same v Clark; settled. Same v Glover; settled. Same v Bale; settled. Same v M'Clymont, £1, third call Ballarat Quartz Crashing Co.; payment ordered. Same v M'Kay, £3 15s, third call Ballarat Quartz Crushing Co.; postponed till Tues- day next. Same v Young; settled. Same v Robinson, £1 10s, third call of above named company; payment ordered. Same v Thomas; summons not served. Same v Hopkins; settled. Same v Hill; summons not served.[40]

January 19 J. V. Penrose v McKay, £3 15s, third call of Ballarat Quartz Crushing Co.; dismissed.[41]

January 21 to January 25 BALLARAT QUARTZ CRUSHING ASSOCIATION. - The shareholders are hereby informed that a fourth call is made payable on or before the 25th instant, agree ably with the following resolution passed in committee 18th January, 1859. - Resolved, - That to meet the liabilities of the company it is found necessary to make a fourth call of £1 per share, and that the shareholders shall be informed by advertisement that it must be paid on or before Tuesday the 25th instant. By order. J. MISKELLY. Secretary.[42]

February 9 The Ballarat Quartz Crushing Company having become virtually defunct, another company has sprung from its remains. The Black Hill Gold Mining Company is the name taken by the gentlemen who have succeeded to the claims and plant of the old company. Messrs Wilson Brothers, R. & S. Gibbs, W. C. Smith, and Wynne are the new company, and we are informed the works will be carried on by hired labor exclusively, under the general management of Mr Wynne, and the working management of persons yet to be chosen. The preliminary arrangements of the new company are not completed, but we understand that stamping batteries will be erected forthwith, and the works carried on without delay. However annoying this juvenile company may be to the disappointed shareholders of the senior company, there is no doubt the new company go to work under the most advantageous circumstances, and have a capital chance of making the claims pay handsomely, under judicious management.[43]

February 11 Penrose v Hopkins and others, for calls due in the Ballarat Quartz Crushing Company; postponed till Tuesday.[44]

February 16 J. V. Penrose v Bowed, £8 calls in the Ballarat Quartz Crushing Company; no appearance; defendant allowed 10s for costs. Same v Monter, £4 calls in the same Company; same result. Same v McGavern, £5 calls in the same Company; same result. Same v Bourdt; settled. Same v Glover; settled. Penrose v Hopkins, £2, calls in Ballarat Quartz Crushing Company. Payment ordered with 2s 6d costs. Same v Davies, £2, a similar case with a like result. Same v Jones - £1, a similar case and payment ordered. The Court then adjourned.[45]

February 26 Penrose v Murton - £4, calls on shares in the Ballarat Quartz Crushing Association; Mr Cuthbert for complainant, Mr Trench for defendants. This case occupied a long time. Mr Trench raised several technical objections. The magistrate said it was a very intricate case, and required a great deal of consideration; he would, therefore, reserve his decision until Tuesday next. There were three other cases against other shareholders in the company, which it was re- solved should be decided by judgment in the first case. Cunningham v Penrose - £8 8s 6d, work done for Penrose's patent, order for £8 8s 6d and costs, to be paid in a month.[46]


This is the name of the company formed out of the remains of the "late lamented" Ballarat Quartz Crushing Company, formed ostensibly for the purpose of testing the merits of Mr Penrose's patent. The patent, however, was never tried, albeit the patentee was tried till he lost his temper, and nearly all hope in the good faith of his erewhile ardent patrons. Of how the ponderous Penrose wheel was wheeled off by the original company before either centre or circumference had taken visible or tangible shape or substance; of how said company decided upon then erecting a battery of stampers, contracted for materials, commenced preparations for the erection of a house for crushing operations, and then collapsed and gave up the ghost, is it not written in the minute book of the late secretary, and in the books of record of both our Police Courts? All this, then, is well known, and will, probably, be long remembered, by some at least, of those who once rejoiced in the possession of shares in the Ballarat Quartz Crushing Company. In fact, the history was one of crude projection, dubious management, and ignominious failure. Where the blame lay, or what dodging there was in the conduct of the affairs of the deceased, we know not. We only know the results, and regret, for the sake of all the losers in the undertaking, that so promising a scheme should so utterly have miscarried. However, the old adage, that "it is an ill wind that blows nobody any good," has perhaps, been exemplified in this as in other catastrophes.[5]Mining. (1859, March 19). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 2. [45]</ref>

People involved

See also

Black Hill

Black Hill Chronology

Gold Ore Mining



  1. 1.0 1.1 Mining. (1858, August 21). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 2. [1]
  2. 2.0 2.1 Local and General News. (1858, August 24). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 3. [2]
  3. 3.0 3.1 BALLARAT QUARTZ CRUSHING COMPANY (PENROSE'S PATENT). (1858, November 3). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 2. [3]
  4. Baragwanath, W. Memoirs of the Geological Survey of Victoria No 14 The Ballarat Goldfields, 1923.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Mining. (1859, March 19). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 2. [4]
  6. Victoria. (1857). Victoria government gazette, 27/10/1857, p.2033]
  7. Local and General news. (1857, December 12). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 3. [5]
  8. LOCAL COURT. (1858, January 1). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 2. [6]
  9. 9.0 9.1 Advertising. (1858, March 10). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 3. [7]
  10. Mining. (1858, April 5). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 2. [8]
  11. Advertising. (1858, May 6). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 3. [9]
  12. Advertising. (1858, June 12). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 3. [10]
  13. BALLARAT. (1858, June 17). Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 - 1918), p. 2. [11]
  14. Advertising. (1858, July 10). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 3. [12]
  15. Mining. (1858, July 12). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 2. [13]
  16. Local and General News. (1858, August 12). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 2. [14]
  17. Advertising. (1858, August 18). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 3. [15]
  18. Advertising. (1858, August 27). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 3. [16]
  19. Advertising. (1858, August 30). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 3. [17]
  20. BALLARAT. (1858, September 2). The Colonial Mining Journal, Railway and Share Gazette (Vic. : 1858 - 1859), p. 10. Retrieved April 16, 2017, from
  21. Advertising. (1858, September 8). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 3. [18]
  22. Advertising. (1858, September 9). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 3. [19]
  23. Mining. (1858, October 9). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 2. [20]
  24. Advertising. (1858, October 11). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 4. [21]
  25. Local and General News. (1858, October 15). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 3. [22]
  26. 26.0 26.1 Advertising. (1858, October 20). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 4. [23]
  27. BALLARAT QUARTZ CRUSHING COMPANY. (1858, October 23). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 3. [24]
  28. Advertising. (1858, October 27). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 4. [25]
  29. 29.0 29.1 Advertising. (1858, November 15). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 4. [26]
  30. Local and General News. (1858, November 16). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 3. [27]
  31. 31.0 31.1 Advertising. (1858, November 30). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 3. [28]
  32. BALLARAT QUARTZ CRUSHING. COMPANY. (1858, December 3). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 3. [29]
  33. Mining. (1858, December 4). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 2. [30]
  34. Local and General News. (1858, December 9). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 3. [31]
  35. Advertising. (1858, December 11). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 3. [32]
  36. Local and General News. (1858, December 15). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 3. [33]
  37. Advertising. (1858, December 27). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 3. [34]
  38. BALLARAT QUARTZ COMPANY. (1859, January 8). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 2. [35]
  39. Advertising. (1859, January 10). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 3. [36]
  40. DISTRICT POLICE COURT. (1859, January 14). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 2. [37]
  41. DISTRICT POLICE COURT. (1859, January 19). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 2. [38]
  42. Advertising. (1859, January 21). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 3. [39]
  43. Mining. (1859, February 9). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 2. [40]
  44. DISTRICT POLICE COURT. (1859, February 11). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 3. [41]
  45. DISTRICT POLICE COURT. (1859, February 16). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 2. [42]
  46. DISTRICT POLICE COURT. (1859, February 26). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 4. [43]

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