This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1980. The following text is the original citation considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration. Information in square brackets indicate modifications made after the paper was considered by the Board.
There are four chimneys on the site of the former Blackball Coal Mine. Two stand on the hillside above the mine entrance where they served the boiler house which generated steam for the winches and winding gear used in the mine. The two other chimneys stand on the opposite side of the hill from the mine entrance, overlooking Blackball Creek, where they were part of the mine ventilation system. [One of the chimneys collapsed in 2014].
Boiler house Chimneys:
The smaller of these is rectangular with an arched base and corbelled lip. It stands in front of a tapered circular chimney which also has a corbelled lip and is approximately four times higher than its rectangular counterpart. It would appear that the smaller structure was built first and was left standing after it had been supplanted by the taller chimney (c.1903). These two chimneys were formerly linked by a brick flue to the boiler house which was located at the base of the ridge on which the chimneys stand. By this means the effective height of the chimneys was significantly increased without unduly increasing the height of the freestanding chimney structure.
Mine Ventilation Chimneys:
The chimneys stand approximately one hundred metres apart and they worked by drawing foul air out of the mine drives after fires had been lit beneath them. The smaller of the two (1897-9) is circular in shape and is made up of an estimated fifty thousand wedge-shaped bricks. This chimney could displace thirteen thousand cubic feet of air per minute and stands approximately fourteen metres above ground, extending a further eleven metres below ground. The chimney has an opening in one side of it at ground level and, like the other chimneys, has a corbelled lip.
The second ventilation chimney (1895-6) stands downstream of the first and is about twenty metres high, with a further six metres below ground. Designed to displace thirty thousand cubic feet of air per minute, this chimney has an arched firebox, carved from sandstone and lined with bricks, which extends for approximately five metres from the base of the chimney to the mine drive beyond. A narrow passage running adjacent to the firebox provides access to it via a low doorway beside the chimney.
c.1984 - Flue structure to boiler house removed.
1896 - Square chimney heightened.
1899 - Section of round chimney above ground, originally built of wood, rebuilt in brick.
1895 - 1899
Mine ventilation Chimneys
Boiler House Chimney
Square chimney heightened
Section of round chimney above ground, originally built of wood, rebuilt in brick.
Flue structure to boilerhouse removed
2014 - 2014
One of the chimneys collapsed in 2014
Appendices to the Journals of the House of Representatives (AJHR)
Appendices to the Journals of the House of Representatives
1895-9, 1903-6, 1922
Cyclopedia of New Zealand, 1906
Cyclopedia Company, Industrial, descriptive, historical, biographical facts, figures, illustrations, Wellington, N.Z, 1897-1908, Vol. 5, Nelson, Marlborough, Westland, 1906
D. Eastwood, A Brief History of Gold Mining in Moonlight & Blackball Creeks, Westland, NZ Forest Service, Hokitika, 1982
Official Souvenir Booklet of Blackball Centennial, 1866-1966, comp. A. Bowkett, Blackball, 1966
J. Wilson (ed.), The Past Today - Historic Places in New Zealand, Pacific Publishers, Auckland, 1987
G. Howitt (ed.), 'Centennial of Blackball, 1866-1966', Looking at the West Coast, Greymouth, February 1966
New Zealand Coal
New Zealand Coal
Vol. 28, Autumn 1984, pp.2-4
Greymouth Public Library
Greymouth Public Library
Archives: Greymouth Public Library, Greymouth
This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1980. This report includes the text from the original Building Classification Committee report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.
Please note that entry on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rarangi Korero identifies only the heritage values of the property concerned, and should not be construed as advice on the state of the property, or as a comment of its soundness or safety, including in regard to earthquake risk, safety in the event of fire, or insanitary conditions.