Copper Mine Creek

Mark Owen


The Story

Copper was first discovered in the Maharahara district north of Woodville, in New Zealand, in 1887. Repeated efforts were made to mine it right up until the nineteen thirties when a company was formed and considerable capital invested with many investors coming from the local community. They had high hopes but little success. However, a report in the New Zealand Geological Survey Bulletin indicates that the workings were conducted in an unscientific manner, divining actually being relied on at one point.

The mine shaft has been filled in and become overgrown. Whether there is still a significant lode in those hills, we'll probably never know.

Today the community is again caught up in mineral madness as frackers move in to prospect for oil. As was the case during the copper mining days, there are high hopes of mineral wealth. Perhaps another hundred years will pass before it is clear whether the expectations are realistic and the subsequent possible environmental damage acceptable?


Verse One
Back in the year, eighteen eighty eight
He sealed his fate  to emigrate.
He left his home and love behind
To sell his soul to a copper mine.

Verse Two
He tramped the track from Woodville town
By Pinfold Road to open the ground
He sank a shaft three hundred feet,
Exactly North of Copper Creek.

Verse Three
Divining rods predicted ore.
Fifty tons he dug or maybe more.
The metal green came not to hand.
There was no hope for the barren land.

Verse Four
Just for his dream, for riches sake,
He worked each day without a break.
He cursed those hills and tunnels too.
Their copper lode, it was untrue.

Verse Five
He didn't know, he couldn't see
Undug below mine level three,
A copper glow that's sure to be
The biggest lode in history.