The Tarakohe cement works in Golden Bay shut down shortly after we arrived in Nelson, back in 1988. Now it is gradually morphing into the landscape, a fascinating process. Here is the main structure:
As a chemical engineer, it was fun trying to figure out which bit did what. A cement works consists of a lime kiln, some ball mills for grinding the product to a fine powder, silos to store the finished cement, plus a few other bits. I have to say that I couldn’t really work out the layout from what was left, so much has been removed. The cement dust has coated everything, sometimes changing it almost beyond recognition. Take these silos for example:
At the top you will see the remains of the belt conveyor and its cover. Looks more closely though and it is gradually transforming into something else:
and nature is asserting herself:
Underneath the main structure some interesting things are happening. The calcium-rich environment is creating stalactites and stalagmites, much more rapidly than in caves:
(Apparently the chemistry here is very different from what happens in limestone caves. Wikipedia has a good piece on that topic here.)
I think this may have been the location of one of the large ball mills. That looks like a bearing in the front wall.
Wandering around outside yielded some interesting images:
These silos stood alone, with a well-painted room halfway up, minus its front and rear walls.
Some links on the history of the cement works and port: