Venus Battery Archive
The Venus Battery at Charters Towers operated from 16 July 1872 to 1973 and survived to become Queensland’s largest, oldest and most complete crushing mill. Seven months after ten-year-old Aboriginal boy, Jupiter Mosman, made the first gold discovery in Charters Towers, gold-mining magnate Edmund Plant opened the Venus Battery which he built at the best spot in town - right next to the only permanent water supply.
"Battery" refers to the most important component of the mill’s extraction process, the stamp batteries, where rock was crushed very finely to enable the gold to be extracted. The steam-powered stamp battery crushed ore which then passed over inclined tables covered with blankets to collect the gold. This simple technology was easy to maintain. During Plant’s ownership, the Venus Battery crushed 2147 tonnes of ore and recovered 5439 ounces of gold. Despite the mill’s huge success, Plant sold it three months after it opened. After a couple of private owners the State Government bought the mill in 1919. Though the biggest money was made during the mill’s early years at the height of the gold rush, the Venus Battery, together with its cyanide plant, produced 15.5 tonnes of gold over the century it was open.
The crushing records include the name of the owner of the ore, weight of ore crushed and amount paid per ton.
Archive Location: 403M, 404M
VB/1 1873-1904 original crushing book
VB/2 Photocopy pf VB/1
VB/3 1820-1837 crushing records and correspondence with Queensland Department of Mines (photocopy)
VB/4 Court House records
VB/5 1946 rehabilitation of Venus Mill - quotes and records of payment
VB/6 1948-1968 crushing notes and returns
VB/7 1939-1954 crushing notes and correspondence
VB/8 1932-1942 records and correspondence
VB/9 1943-1953 records and correspondence
VB/10 1957-1982 records and correspondence
VB/11 1919 correspondence (photocopy)
VB/12 1937 -1973 crushing book
VB/13 1912-1982 Courthouse records and correspondence from Queensland Department of Mines and other statutory bodies
VB/15 Four-page handwritten letter (undated) by S M Simpson who worked at the Venus Mill, describing the period from the end of 1939 to end of 1941.
VB/14 Photocopies of notes, newspaper articles; information provided mainly by visitors