Below: The Dunedin Stock Exchange in 1902 (demolished in 1969 to make way for John Wickliffe House)

The Exchange is relevant because Choie Sew Hoy listed two mining companies on the Dunedin Stock Exchange, the Shotover Big Beach Mining Company (The prefix "Shotover" later changed to "Sew Hoy Big Beach Mining" and listed in 1888), and the Nokomai Hydraulic Sluicing Company (listed ten years later, in 1898). ​Despite the building being demolished in the 1960s, the location was still known as The Exchange.

Below: A picture of The Exchange in the 1940's

Sew Hoy's First Listed Company,

Sew Hoy Big Beach Gold Mining Company

Listed 1888:

​Sew Hoy formed the Shotover Big Beach Gold Mining Company in 1888, for which he was majority owner. He held 146 of the 300 shares; Kum Yok, his eldest son, was another shareholder, and the remainder were Europeans.

​The company was reorganised in 1889 as the Sew Hoy Big Beach Gold Mining Company. It built the first dredge in 1889, later three more dredges, and was the principal New Zealand gold-dredging company until 1897. It chose voluntary liquidation in 1897 after Big Beach was worked out.

Below: Choie Sew Hoy, 1889, seemingly writing into the local paper to emphasize not only the general lack of teaching for sciences and geology, but also that he anticipates significant opportunity to be emerging for the Sew Hoy Big Beach Gold Mining Company, notably in a place where others have long passed over the claim.


Below: The Sew Hoy Dredge, and a Douglas Babcock Oil Painting rendition of it (a since passed New Zealand artist)


Sew Hoy's Second Listed Company:

Nokomai Hydraulic Sluicing Company

​(formed 1894, listed 1898):

BY THE TIME Choie Sew Hoy arrived in Dunedin, Otago’s first gold rush was sputtering out. The supply of alluvial gold that could be extracted by pans, cradles and sluice boxes was gradually dwindling, yet large deposits remained, buried in river gravel.

After the Shotover, Sew Hoy started looking for new claims. The Nokomai Valley in Southland was known to contain gold, but miners hadn’t been able to work there because its gravel layer was too deep. Gold extraction would require hydraulic sluicing, which used a lot of water, which the Nokomai Valley didn’t have.

Sew Hoy had both patience and capital. He paid work crews to build two water races to the Nokomai Valley—one of them becoming New Zealand’s second-longest, extending 47 kilometres from Roaring Lion Creek in the Garvie mountains. It took a team of 30 men three years to cut it by hand, using picks and shovels. And it was with picks and shovels that, more than a century later, Southland farmer Tom O’Brien and a small group of volunteers cut the walking and mountain-biking track that now runs alongside it. It took them two years, working under sun, snow, hail and rain, as the first racemen did, using only materials found on the land.

Below: A Photo of Sew Hoy's Hydraulic Elevating Claim at Nokomai

​​Source: Sew Hoy’s Gold Workings and Water System, NOKOMAI (List No. 9291, Category 1) Roaring

Below: Remaining Pipes from Nokomai and a Watermans (Raceman's Hut)

​Source: Sew Hoy’s Gold Workings and Water System, NOKOMAI (List No. 9291, Category 1) Roaring


Nokomai Hydraulic Sluicing Company: Stock Exchange Listing (1898)

Father (Choie Sew Hoy) and (second) son (Kum Poy) floated the Nokomai Hydraulic Sluicing Company in 1898, issuing 2,400 shares at £10 each (in todays terms, each share costed approximately $1,900, and it was a $4.5 million dollar company). Sew Hoy and Kum Poy became the biggest shareholders, each holding 850 shares, and they respectively became the company’s director and secretary. The share list included well-known Otago people, several who had been shareholders in the Sew Hoy Big Beach Gold Mining Company. In 1898, the sluicing returns of the Company were 100oz to 200oz of gold a month.​

In 1932, the company was restructured into the Nokomai Gold Mining Company, with the assistance of mining associate James Fletcher (1886-1974), in order to use the technologically new dragline excavator on new claims at Nokomai. Kum Poy (1867-1942), who had taken over his father’s mantle (and had adopted Sew Hoy as his English surname after his father’s death) , was described by Fletcher as ‘a remarkable man whose word was his bond and even in adversity he never accepted defeat.’ The older company had not done well, due to the poor auriferous ground, and it was hoped the new method would reverse the decline. The excavator failed when it struck a very hard layer, and the company closed down in 1943, after a flood and Kum Poy’s death the previous year. After Kum Poy’s death operations ceased entirely, ‘leaving a record in the mining archives of remarkable achievement.’ The claim was incorporated into surrounding farmland.​

​The site has recently (June 2019) been made into a Category 1 New Zealand Historic Place by Heritage New Zealand.

(Source: New Zealand Heritage List/Rārangi Kōrero – Report for a Historic Place, Sew Hoy’s Gold Workings and Water System, NOKOMAI (List No. 9291, Category 1)

Below: On Choie Sew Hoy's passing in 1901, The Dunedin Stock Exchange giving a vote of sympathy to Choie Sew Hoy's Family.