Welcome to the story of Raub Gold

On Saturday at 7 a.m. the expedition left Kuala Kubu, dining early at Sungei Gumut Police Station about nine and a half miles from Kuala Kubu, and close to the "divide" between Selangor and Pahang. They made about five miles further that afternoon, and put for the night in an attap covered wayside shed. It rained heavily through the night, but all were dry and comfortable. Sunday saw the party off at an early hour, and dinner was taken at a point about five miles from Tras. Tras was reached at 5.30 p.m., and there the party made themselves at home by Mr. Fraser’s hospitable directions. By general consent the track, for a mountain track, was pronounced to be wonderfully good, Mr. Sefton himself stating that he had not seen a better one, considering the ground travelled. The track now is quite ride-able throughout and is to be made a practicable road for wagons. Tras was left behind on Monday at 8 a.m. The coolies took it rather easy and Raub was not reached till noon. When the party topped the ridge and saw the Raub Valley, the future scene of, let us hope, their prosperous labours lying before them.

Mr. Sefton had the satisfaction of pointing out a house on an isolated hill, which he had ordered to be constructed when he left Raub after his previous visit. This has been erected under the supervision of Mr. B. D'Almeida who is acting for the Raub syndicate at Raub, and whose services and experience of the country will be very useful to the mining party in beginning their operations. The house was found to be quite a creditable job, and it was satisfactory to find a roof all ready awaiting to receive the party on their arrival.

The Australians are therefore comparatively comfortably settled at Raub, and well pleased to find that the real difficulties were so much less than had been represented to them. After spending a day and a half in taking Mr. Bibby round and showing him the lie of the land Mr. Sefton left for Singapore. At Raub all is well and the men in good heart. They are delighted with the appearance of the place. The water supply is good and pure. As a mining district they find the country to be splendidly timbered and well watered, and every natural facility for mining is present at Raub. It will take three weeks or a month, however, to clear the river Bilut of obstacles, so as to let the boats get up with the machinery and stores; meanwhile Chinese labour is being engaged in preliminary work at Raub, getting timber ready and preparing foundations for future buildings.


The Brisbane Courier 30 Oct 1889 (Taken from The Singapore Free Press)

With the return of Mr. Sefton to Singapore on Wednesday, 20th September, from Selangor news reaches us of the safe arrival of the Australian mining party at their destination, Raub. The greatest interest has been manifested in Singapore, Hongkong, and Australia in the stores now being taken by the Australian syndicate which has acquired the Raub district towards the initiatory operations for proving and testing the value of their property.

Under the guidance of Mr. Sefton, the Australian party left Singapore for Raub, via Kuala Lumpur, by the S.S. Sappho on Saturday, the 7th September, just about a week after their arrival from Brisbane. Mr. Whitlam, book keeper and secretary, and another of the party have already gone to Raub, via Polkan, in order to make arrangements to expedite the transit of the heavy machinery, molding boilers, stamps, and pumping gear, up the Pahang, the Somantan, and the Bilut rivers to Raub. It was the main body under Mr. W. Bibby, the manager, who took the Selangor route; included in this were Messrs. Bibby Jun., Lawry, Walker, Grensill, Ridgeway, and Kinloch.

On Sunday, the 8th, the party arrived at Kuala Lumpur, much pleased to find such a solid proof of civilization and material progress as the railway which carried them over the twenty miles between Bukit Kudu and Kuala Lumpur. Arrived there, the Rest House was made the headquarters of the party, Messrs. Bibby and Sefton putting up with Mr. West, who acts as the local agent of the Australian syndicate. Monday was spent in engaging the necessary coolies and in forwarding the heavier baggage by bullock cart on to Kuala Kubu, On Tuesday the party left in gharries for Rawang, where they were hospitably received by Mr. Arthur Keyser, magistrate of Ulu Selangor, and Messrs. French and Thompson of the Rawang Tin Mining Company.

Left on Wednesday at 9.30 a.m. for Serengau, and as far as Ulu Yam at 4 p.m. Torrents of rain now fall, and the party put up here for the night in a Malay house. An early start was made on Thursday, and the party arrived at Kuala Kubu in fine fettle for breakfast. Thursday and Friday were occupied in the work of getting fresh coolies, the others, natives of India, being left behind. Twenty-four Malays and Chinese were engaged, a number of the latter having already the intention of going over into Pahang to get employment. They were therefore willingly enlisted.

The Arrival


The Argus Melbourne 19th July 1889

Mr. W. Bibby, a well-known resident of this district, has been appointed to the management of a syndicate formed for the purpose of working an extensive goldfield in the Malay peninsula. The syndicate, which comprises English and colonial capitalists has among its members two of the Cabinet Ministers of the Salisbury Government. About £30,000 is to be expended in carrying out preliminary operations. Messrs. Thompson and Co. of the Kennedy street Foundry is at present engaged in the construction of a 10-head battery and two Berdan basins for the syndicate in question.

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The Brisbane Courier 7th August 1889

Persons interested in the Malay Peninsula Gold Mine in the Raub to say “farewell and god-speed” to Mr. Bibby and his staff, who go out to the locality named to erect machinery on the mine. Mr. Philp, M.L.A., in proposing Mr. Bibby’s health, spoke of the operation of the syndicate as the first undertaking of the kind which Queensland had entered upon outside her own territory. He explained that Mr. Bibby was taking up with him some 40 tons of machinery, part of which was manufactured in Queensland, and that in anticipation of overland carriage the plant had been so made that no piece would weigh over 6 cwt. “Within six or seven months, said Mr. Philp, we shall have a full report from Mr. Bibby. He has overcome in the north of Queensland difficulties of climate and transport beyond what he will encounter in the Malay Peninsula. In speaking of Mr. Bibby I wish to say that he has been known through the North for the last fifteen years, and all who have known or heard of  him give but one report, and that he is a straightforward, honest and honourable man………The party left by the R.M.S. Jumna yesterday.

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Above are examples of machinery manufactured in 1910 by the same Thompson’s Foundry Castlemaine that made those taken to Raub on the initial venture in 1889 for crushing and milling the quartz ore.

Berdan Basin

Ten-head Stamp