Grand Junction Refinery building: ‘on the move’ in 2010

A hundred years ago

The Grand Junction Battery looking east. The stamper battery was the most modern of its time and had 60 stamps to crush the ore. Mine production peaked in 1914.

August 2008

View looking south. The building has remained largely undisturbed over the years. The shuttered/louvre style vent system on the roof is a distinctive feature of the refinery building.

19 May 2010

Work is well underway. The high walls of waste rock that used to surround the building as protection have been removed and earthworks have begun to construct the causeway on which the building will be moved. The proposed route is just visible at top rght.

19 May 2010

The floor of the refinery building has been removed. Next week a new concrete slab will be poured below the level of the original floor. This will form a work area for the construction of the steel tripod and sled system on which the building will be moved.

26 May 2010

The new concrete floor has been poured. Staff from Mount Maunganui Engineering begin the task of erecting two large steel tripod structures that will support the weight of the building.

28 May 2010

The sun comes out briefly, but heavy rain over the last few days has slowed earthworks. Here a backhoe works on the culvert the building must cross to get to its new home.

31 May 2010

Inside: The tripods are welded into place. Next they will be connected by high tensile rods to a large steel frame (just visible at the bottom of the picture) that rings the inside of the building. This total structure will support the building and provide the attachment points for winching.

31 May 2010

Outside: Work continues on the causeway along which the building will be winched. The ground level is currently being lowered and metal fill being placed. Heavy rain is forecast for the next few days.

2 June 2010

Inside: The steel work is nearly all in place. A universal joint is attached to the top of the tripods (1) with four parallel connection points. High tensile rods are attached to both the universal joints and to the steel perimeter frame (3). The building is jacked off the ground at (4) and the weight is supported on the frame (3). In turn the tripods support the frame (so holding the building), and the building itself will be winched to its new destination and skid on (2).

2 June 2010

Outside: Heavy rain and floods across the region yesterday. Today preparation of the transport route continues.

9 June 2010

A truck and trailer deliver another load of metal for the causeway which is now about half way. Meanwhile a crane assists with the completion of the interior structural supports.

9 June 2010

The view looking north showing the route the building will take next week. This picture and the one above were taken from a helicopter. How cold is it hanging out of a chopper with no doors in the middle of winter? We’ll let you know when the photographer thaws out.

13 June 2010

Just over thirty people braved the winter weather to get a close up look at the building before tomorrow’s move. You can see that the causeway has now been built up around the steel perimeter frame. Don’t be fooled by the blue sky …

Tomorrow is the big day!

14 June 2010

Just like the Cornish Pumphouse, the refinery building has needed a bit of gentle persuasion to convince her to move. 12 metres today, hoping for better tomorrow. This pic shows one of the two tow trucks, and the D10 Cat dozer being used as an anchor. And yes, that is a rainbow (so that’s where the gold is …)

25 June 2010

The bullion store is placed next to the refinery building. Two cranes lifted the thick concrete wall store onto a low loader which transoprted the building to its new site where it was lifted off to its new home.