Mining of the Magenta Reef commenced in 1860. Earth, rock and quartz were excavated and carted out by horse and dray. The open cut was worked to a depth of 15 metres and later partially filled with mullock. Two shafts were sunk to access gold bearing ore. Today, you can view one of these from the eastern side of the open cut. The other shaft has since been filled in for safety. Further along the track there is a viewing platform to view the enlarged tunnel or drive, which was worked to a depth of 30 metres. The quartz was crushed at the nearby stamper batteries and the timber foundations can still be seen today.
The mine closed around 1910, but was revived during the 1930s Depression. Published figures report a total of 21,665 tons of material was crushed, yielding 9,900 ounces of gold. It is thought 13,000 ounces of gold is more accurate. In its heyday, Magenta was a significant residential area. Now the tall Ironbark trees with their black, deeply furrowed bark, are a spectacular backdrop to the red soils of the area.
From Chiltern, take Barnawartha Road for about 3km and turn left into Battery Hill Road. Total distance is about 8km from Chiltern. There is a car park and picnic area.