Hindon mine shaft 'bit of a graveyard'

The gold mine shaft that Hindon farmer Greg Wilson and his dog Jock found themselves in. Photo:...
The gold mine shaft that Hindon farmer Greg Wilson and his dog Jock found themselves in. Photo: Star Files.
A flooded mine shaft that swallowed a Hindon farmer's sheep dog last week is a ''graveyard'' of animal bones, Dunedin geologist John Youngson says.

Hindon farm manager Greg Wilson featured in The Star last week after he and his neighbour had to rescue Jock the sheep dog, who fell 12m down in to a flooded mine shaft.

Mr Youngson said he studied the Hindon mine system many years ago and had abseiled down the mine shaft into which Jock fell. It had no water in it then and was a lot deeper than 12m.

''From the bottom of it looking up, it looked like a little, small hole of light.''

There was another shaft coming off horizontally at the bottom but it was blocked by sheep bones.

''I was on a pile of bones on the bottom, a bit of a graveyard there.''

He said the sheep had either met an ''untimely end'' by falling in or it had been used as an offal pit.

Mr Wilson said he lost a couple of bulls in the same paddock last year and suspected they might have also fallen in to the heavily overgrown mine shaft.

Mr Youngson said the hole was fenced off after his visit but that was some time ago.

He said there were probably 10 or 12 shafts in the area.

Miners would sink the shafts, then tunnel horizontally along the quartz seam.

Mr Youngson said compared with other gold mining areas, there was little information on the Hindon mines.

Dunedin City Council land information team leader Rob Garrett said they had some information on the mines in Fairfield and Ocean View but not Hindon.

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