Temora Goldfield history: Extracts from Mines Department Annual Reports about the development of the Temora field in the 1880s

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Temora goldfield history, 1880s

Although already supporting a flourishing pastoral community by the 1860s, the township of Temora was not "established" until the gold rush of 1879, a decade after gold was first discovered. In the 1880s at the peak of the rush, Temora had a population of 20,000.

In 1881 the highest yield from the Temora field was attained - an Impressive 35,228oz. In more recent times, gold mining occurred at the Paragon Gold Mine at Gidginbung, 12 km north of the town, from 1986 to 1996. At the time is was the largest open cut gold mine in operation in NSW.

Although there is little evidence of the old mines, the Mother Shipton mine, located off Moroney's Lane, is a site well worth visiting. Gold mining took place at Reefton, Springdale, Combaning and Sebastapol as well as at Gidginbung and Temora.

In the early 1880s Temora was the scene of a massive gold rush with some 20,000 miners and hopefuls descending on the field. Numerous large gold nuggets were unearthed over a period of several years and there were some who did very well. Others were less fortunate and had great difficulty in surviving.

"It must be admitted by any impartial observer that during the last twelve months more than the usual amount of interest and energy have been displayed in the search for the precious metal. This is owing, I am convinced, in a great measure to the discovery of so rich a field at Temora ; the excitement consequent thereon making itself felt in this district equally with places less remote and apparently creating a “digger’s heart” in many to whom the use of pick and shovel was as unnatural as strange.

TEMORA AND THE MINES DEPARTMENT 1880 ANNUAL REPORT

A very large portion of the washdirt raised at Temora during 1880 could not be treated for want of water.

Making due allowance for these special circumstances, the average has probably been quite as good as that of previous years; and taking into account the new discoveries made, and the extent of new ground prospected during the year 1880, the result of the year’s operations may fairly be regarded as satisfactory, and on the whole gives promise of considerable improvement in this branch of mining.

The new finds will doubtless give employment to a large number of operative miners, and if capitalists could be induced to undertake the systematic working of the deposits on onr older gold-fields, which present ample scope for the profitable employment of capital under skilful and economic management, the gold-fields of this Colony would probably take a position second to none in the world. The reports furnished by the Wardens and Mining Registrars show that, except where gold-mining has been retarded by scarcity of water, the prospects during the year 1880 have been much more promising than during the last few preceding years.

Scarcity of water has been experienced in the Bathurst, Tambaroora and Turon, Lachlan, Mudgee, Southern, and Peel and Uralla Districts. From most of the older gold-fields a large proportion of the miners were drawn away by the discovery of gold at Temora and at Montreal, and the same thing is now happening with regard to the recent discovery of gold at Mount Browne, in the extreme north-west corner of this Colony.

These discoveries are doubtless beneficial to the Colony in the long run, but the immediate effect is frequently a reduction in the output of gold. This has been in a marked degree the effect of the rush to the Temora Gold-field, because many miners abandoned claims that were yielding a moderate return, on some of the older goldfields; and owing to the scarcity of water at Temora, even those whose claims contain payable deposits have not been able to reap the reward of their enterprise and industry.

Fortunately the coarse character of the gold has enabled some of the claim-holders to extract a comparatively large quantity of gold without washing; but had a plentiful supply of water been available, there can be no doubt, not only that Temora would by this time have proved a rich and extensive gold-field, but the quantity of gold realized from the earth raised during the year would have more than compensated for the reduced yield consequent upon the abandonment of claims on the older fields.

The quantity of washdirt stacked ready for washing as soon as water is obtained is estimated by the Warden at 65,000 loads. The Mining Registrar estimates the quantity of wash-dirt stacked awaiting water at 50,113 loads, estimated to contain 30,010 ounces of gold. The Warden says there are ninety-seven payable claims on the field, and the quartz reefs which have not yet been much worked show some very rich stone-one line is 2 feet wide, and one is as much as 4 feet, but there is no machinery on the ground.

MINING WARDENS REPORT EXTRACTS

In forwarding you my annual report, I have the honor to state that mining in the Bathurst Division of the Western Gold-fields during 1880 has been far from satisfactory; the rush to Temora caused many to leave these fields for several months, but most of them have now returned. The chief drawback has been the uncertain supply of water for sluicing and alluvial mining generally.

IN submitting my report for the year ending the 31st December, 1880, I have much pleasure in being able to record some reaction in the gold-mining industry of this division; and though not to any considerable extent, still, when compared with the last few preceding years, it must be admitted by any impartial observer that during the last twelve months more than the usual amount of interest and energy have been displayed in the search for the precious metal. This is owing, I am convinced, in a great measure to the discovery of so rich a field at Temora ; the excitement consequent thereon making itself felt in this district equally with places less remote and apparently creating a “ digger’s heart” in many to whom the use of pick and shovel was as unnatural as strange.

"A 100-ounce nugget was found yesterday, but the name of the party is withheld.

"The Temora Water Company is calling for tenders to excavate the reservoir."

20 September 1880

TEMORA. FRIDAY.

A 100-ounce nugget was found yesterday, but the name of the party is withheld.

The Temora Water Company is calling for tenders to excavate the reservoir. The boring apparatus has been shifted to the Hope reef.

A Government Savings’ Bank has been opened. Mr. J. W. James, C.E., forwards a progress report this day as to the site for the Government reservoir. The capacity is seven million gallons, and the site is fixed at a distance of about six miles from Middle Temora, in the Narraburra Creek.

With the aid of excavation the capacity can be doubled. A traverse from the water supply to the town is in course of being surveyed, and the final survey will be completed by the end of this month. Seven million gallons are now on hand, for consumption as soon as the works are completed.

29 September 1880

TEMORA. Tuesday. The prospectus has been placed before the public of a company which have purchased Mack’s Homestead lagoons, at Temora station, containing six mil- lion gallons, and draining 144 square miles, for the purpose of supplying the miners with water for washing purposes. The distance from Temora is five miles. Forty shares, of £50 each, have been taken, and the remainder now are offered to the pubic. The capital is to provide machinery, and the total amount re- quired is £4000. The Government survey for water-supply is. being pushed ou with all expedition by air. J. W. .lames, O.E. A good surface has been diaeoA-cred underneath the outcrop of Rich’a reef, and a 4 oz. nugget waa found in | it. Thoio aro hopes of tracing the old lead up to it.

"The country has been pegged all round the claims above mentioned, and all the necessary preparations for active work are in most instances completed. To thoroughly understand the great importance of these new revelations, it is necessary to refer to the topography of the gold-field once more..."

16 October 1880

TEMORA.

The discoveries made during the past few days go far to proving that the extent of payable auriferous countryin the immediate vicinity of Temora will go far beyond our most sanguine expectations.

As already stated,»at diuerentitim.es in the course of these letters, , the tracing of tho lead below Maloncy’s p.c. has all along offered unusual difficulties. Tho pleading ridge that runs from Upper Temora in aînoriherlv’direRtioû past Deutscher’s selection suddenly runs out with a flat point into ? a large expanse of1 “flat, .and with it the guide 1 for the minor is lost. Hence’it took some considerable time ore Keating and’\party, .

Nugent and Adams, and Buckley struck the right spot,, as a number of duffer 1 shafts along tho supposed ruu*of gold testify. The news that nuggets huct’’’been’ found bj’ Heating’s I party naturally again > attracted tho attention of j the miners to this parts of ¡the: gold-field, and again tho country underwent a ‘thorough search with- out any satisfactory results.

Gold was certainly found’in various snots, but nothing that could properly be called payable. Whether the 1 old watercourse had here split up in a number of shallow channels, or whether the gold-producing agcüDies of bygone ages had suddenly dimim-Oied, wai thoi,£roat point at issuu; and it only icquirarl the Bermagui1! excitement io draw ] the great majority from the apparently thankless task .j of . protecting any further in a \ locality where it I seemed almost impossible that the’vlead could wind I its way through the maze of shafts* without having been found in any of thom.

Accordingly, no Eoon’-r had mendacious telegrams inflamed tho easily j healed imaginations of the millers, than a perfect stampede sot in to tie new Eldo-.ado. Fully 2000 men must have left the field in tuft course of the pa-t fortnight, and moat of tho claims in the lower part ol’ the lcnd’Avere once more deserted.

Tho-tnrn of tho tide set in about the middle of last week, when more trustworthy accounts of the newgold-iieldobtaincd cur- rency, and simultaneously fresh discoveries once moro electrified the mining population, and restored confidence in the resources ot Temora.

Murphy and Bath, four claims north of “Maloney’s, and the claim adjoining ‘ announced that they had struck coarse gold on Thurs- day, and on Fridayiand Saturday stilbmore important . news brought the excitement up to faver.jpitch. Fully three-quarters of a mile still further north, the Trigoling or AValladilly Creek intersects the pro- bable continuation-of sthe original lead.

Prospecting parties had been testing the country on both sides of this watercourse for months past with very disheartening remits. Tho ground-was-much deeper here than in the ‘ old lead, and bottom was reached at depths varying ‘ ¡from 100 to 140 feet. The strata also differed, heavy drift encouraging tho miners in the de- lusive hopo of eventually staking payable dirt.

At last perseverance has boen crowned with success-and success which, unless the present . wiiter is utterly at fault in his prognostications, will open a now era for the population. The Greek’s claim bottomed at 127 feet ; three claims north-west of thom, King Maori and party (the aboriginals’ claim), reached auriferous wash at 102 feet; still further north-west, Donovan, Foster, and party found the gold at 110 feet; and, finally, the Ballarat claim struck pavabls dirt at 111! feet on the bank of the Wallandillv . Creek. As already stated, tho strata cut bj’ the miners in I these claims differ materially from thoso found in the {.old lead, and the washdirt has «li the appearance of j having been collected in a river bed. It will be remem | bered that in the original lead the wash is what diggers ¡ term “ pug “ wash.

In the claims mentioned it is a (‘free, gravelly wash. The direction of the run, as far as j can be judged from the present workings, forms nearly j a right anglo with a line continued from the last gold produciug shaft on the old lead. All these considera- tions lead mo to the conviction that a now run has been struck. Whether this surmiso is right or wrong will now soon bo proved.

The country has been pegged all round the claims above mentioned, and all the necessary preparations for active work are in most instances completed. To thoroughly understand the great importance of these new revelations, it is necessary to refer to the topography of the gold-field once more.

It will be needless to reiterate that the old lead has a general course from south-east to north-west, trending towards the Walladilly Creek. To the west of this the supposed new ran comes in, as I surmise following tho old bed of Walladilly Creek, trending from south to north. On the east the frontage lead, always supposing it follows tho base line laid down by Mr. Mining Sur- veyor Tozer, bears in a W.N.W. direction.

In the wholo of those runs, so far as they aro traced, coarse gold prevails. No load-at least as far as my know- ledge of alluvial mining goes-ever gave out with coarso gold.

There always is a tail end to it, whore fine gold prevails. If theso premises aro admitted, and the general direction of the various runs followed up, it follows that, at some-point or other to the north of tho Walladilly Creek, a junction of all the different runs must take place-a result which I confess to be sanguine enough to sea reulized ero long. Returning if rom speculation to hard facts, I may mention that coarse bits of gold weighing up to li dwt. have been picked out of the washdirt in all the four claims mentioned that I surmise to bolong to the now run. The gold has a more water worn appearance, which is a natural consequence of tho gravelly .nature of the washdirt.

"As I have already stated, the population has fluctuated a good deal. In last August I should put the number down at about 6,000, but later in the year I believe it reached as high as 12,000 ; at the present time I should estimate it at about 5,000. Should heavy rain set in and water become plentiful, I should not be surprised to see 20,000 people on this gold-field."

1880 Mines Department report on the Temora field

Since my report of August last was furnished, many changes have taken place here, and this may now be termed a settled township. I came here on the 10th of August last, and found all the confusion that must attend a new and extensive rush.

Business places were only in course of erection, and the only building availa,ble as a Court for hearing mining cases and afterwards Police Court business was a small iron building capable of holding perhaps forty persons, and utterly unsuitable and insufficient even for a public office. This place, however, had to be used for want of a better until the Government Court-house was finished, in November last.

This is, I am glad to be able to report, a very comfortable and commodious building, and suitable for a warm climate-as this undoubtedly is. Shortly after my arrival here I established a Police and Small Debts Court, and the amount of business transacted in these Courts is large. From August up to the present time 396 police and summons cases have been heard and decided, and in the Small Debts Court, which was established on the 20th of October last, 140 cases have been disposed of. The whole number of mining cases heard by my predecessor Mr. Warden De Boos and myself was 200. As regards the latter, I have considered it my duty to discourage litigation as much as possible, and I have, where I could equitably and legally do so, tried to settle mining disputes without bringing them into Court. In this, I think, I have been fairly successful, and the number of mining disputes is not large if we take into consideration the large population that has been located here since the field first became known,-a population not less at one time than from ten to twelve thousand, and also considering that this is an alluvial field, where the sinking is easy and comparatively shallow.

As I have already stated, the population has fluctuated a good deal. In last August I should put the number down at about 6,000, but later in the year I believe it reached as high as 12,000 ; at the present time I should estimate it at about 5,000. Should heavy rain set in and water become plentiful, I should not be surprised to see 20,000 people on this gold-field.

There are three townships here almost connected; what is known as Middle Temora is the Government township, Upper Temora is almost deserted, but Lower Temora still contains a good many business places, although the population has considerably thinned of late.

The Government town is very well laid out and is in a good situation; the streets are wide, and, what rarely happens in a gold-fields township, straight. The business places are mostly of iron, numerous and large; hotels are especially plentiful in Temora, there being upwards of sixty. I think it is much to be regretted that business people should have been permitted to settle on what is known as the lower township, as the place is very low, and in case of heavy rain I am confident that the town would be flooded.

There is no escape for the water, which would lie until it soaked in or evaporated, and probably cause disease and loss of life. The business places too, being right on the main lead, give rise to many disputes between the business people and the miners. For these reasons it would have been better, if it was necessary to provide more room for business places, to extend the Government township on to the high land which lies immediately to the west of the lower town.

As regards climate I do not think that Temora is an unhealthy place, as the death-rate will show, but it is intensely dry and very warm during the summer . months. The highest that I have known the thermometer register was 115° F.,-this occurred in the middle of last month. Up to November last the weather was very cold, especially at night. The great drawback to the prosperity of this place and district is the want of water.

There are no creeks or rivers, and it would appear that the place must be dependent for water supply on the rainfall, which I believe occurs at very irregular intervals. Since I came here there has only been once what would be called a heavy rain, which lasted for about a fortnight, and unfortunately at that time there were few reservoirs or dams made to retain the water when it fell. Heavy thunderstorms occur occasionally, but these generally only extend over a limited space.

I am informed by squatters and others who have lived in this district for a considerable number of years, that they have seen the low lands about Temora covered with water to a depth of 6 inches-the result of a thunderstorm. Should one of these storms occur now-as a great many large dams and tanks have been constructed in this neighbourhood-I think, unless a very lengthened drought occurred, there would be little reason to fear, but that water would be plentiful both for gold-mining and domestic purposes.

The ground in this locality is admirably adapted for conserving water, as the dams merely require excavatingpuddling is not necessary. The nearest creek to ‘remora is the Yeo Yeo or Bland, and its nearest point to here is about 20 miles. The Bland Creek contains permanent water, but is merely a chain of deep waterholes.

The other creeks, if they can be called such, seeing that their course cannot be traced continuously, and that they only contain water where dams have been made in the watercourse or depression of the surface, are the N arrahburrah or Deep Creek, and the Walladilly or Trigalong Creek. These watercourses lie east and west of Temora, at a distance of 5 and 2 miles respectively. There is, 6 miles from Temora, on the N arrahburrah Creek, a large dam, from which most of the present .supply of water for the town is derived; there is also another large lagoon near the Temora Station homestead on private property, and at this puddling mills have been erected and a considerable quantity of wash-dirt has been put through them; there are also a good many other dams on different parts of the Temora Run which have supplied the town until lately, but these are exhausted now, except a very few. .As I have already stated, the chief supply is derived from the Narrahburrah Lagoon, which is distant 6 miles from here.

This cannot-unless heavy rain comes down-last long, as an immense quantity of water is daily taken from it. Water is now being sold here at 3s. 6d. per cask. It is, no doubt, far from pure; but so far the population do not appear to have been injured by the use of it.

I may state that the water that will be in future collected in dams lately constructed will be of a much purer nature than that now available, as the sheep having been mostly removed from the neighbourhood, their manure will not exist to pollute the water in the new dams or reservoirs. A supply for drinking purposes will be obtained from the iron roofs of the houses, which are mostly provided with spouting and large underground tanks.

While writing of water supply, I am informed that there are springs of good water to be found about 10 or 12 miles from here, from which, if the supply was sufficient, water could be gravitated to this place, and I think that it would be advisable that these springs should be examined and tried by some experienced person, to ascertain whether they would increase the supply of water for mining and domestic purposes.

I will now endeavour to describe this I gold-field. The first rush to Temora set in, I am informed, on t.he 3rd of February last, when gold was discovered on the surface at Upper Temora. Some payable shallow ground was discovered, and by degrees the lead was traced for a distance of about 3t miles. This is the main lead, and its bearing is about north and south.

The lead took its commencement where there is a large body of quartz and reefs; it is bounded on either side by quartz reefs cropping out on the surface, a few hundred yards apart. Until lately the payable claims on the lead were very irregular, both as regards width and distance apart.

Gaps where the run of gold could not be traced existed for a distance of as much as half a mile, but now the claims are connected nearly the whole length of 3i miles. The gold found is mostly coarse and jagged in general, not water-worn, and some of the nuggets contain a considerable quantity of quartz. The quality of the gold is good, bringing at the Banks £3 17s. per oz. I am of opinion, after careful inquiry, that the lead is supplied by small leaders diverging from the large reefs bounding it. Where these leaders come in the claims are often very rich. I may here state that the country is what miners call rolling country, because the bottom occurs at varied depths. The sinking is good, mostly through red or white pipe-clay and very dry. The prospecting claims on this lead are as follows :-lst, Parker’s, going north, Tynan’s, then Murray’s, and 4th Maloney’s.

The depth of sinking varies from the surface to 112 feet, though there may be a few shafts over this depth. I will endeavour to describe each of the prospecting claims in turn, and a few of the principal ordinary claims. There are besides the main lead or run of gold other gullies where gold has been obtained, but so far I believe without payable results. Parker’s Prospecting alaim.-This, the prospector asserts, is the first alluvial prospecting protection area taken up on Temora. It is situated 14 miles due west of Woodstown, and Henry Parker took up his protection area about the 17th of November, 1879, reporting payable gold on the 3rd of February, 1880. His party washed 8 dishes of dirt, and got from 2 to 4 grains to the dish.

This gold was very TIne. The depth of sinking in this case was in one shaft 60 feet, and in another 75 feet. The wash is from 4 to 5 feet in depth, with a width not yet established, but proved to a distance of 40 feet, with 120 feet of a face. Four men have been employed continuously up to the present date. Parker and party have raised altogether 600 loads of wash dirt. Only two loads have been washed from this claim, which yielded 6 ozs. and 18 dms. A load of headings taken about 6 feet from the bottom went 4 dwts. and a half. The prospectors state that there are three leads of gold running through their claim-a surface lead-one east and one west which carries most gold, and one running north and south. Henry Parker informs me that he found colours in the reefs, at what is now called Upper Temora, twelve years ago, and this led him to prospect in 1879. There are thirty-two or thirty-three ordinary claims payable south and east of Parker’s. Foster and Company and Stinson are considered the richest, although there are several others perhaps quite as good.

The distance from the first surfacing claim to Parker’s prospecting claim is about ~ a mile. The surfacing claim known as M’Cormack’s gave 27 ozs. for 60 loads, and the depth of wash-dirt was 18 inches.

A very large quantity of surfacing has been washed, and gave an average of 6 dwts. Going north from Parker’s is the Golden Gate, six men’s ground, or 300 feet by 300 feet. This party has washed 200 loads of dirt, which yielded nearly an ounce to the load. They have about 500 loads on the surface, which is considered 1 oz. stuff. The depth of wash is from 7 to 17 feet, taking out about 40 feet in width. This claim was bottomed at 125 feet.

In No.2 North, Shaw and party, the wash-dirt on the surface would reach, I am informed, 600 loads. A trial washing of 56 loads gave 77~ ozs. In this claim there is 6 feet of wash by an unknown, as yet, width. No.3, Foley and party, have, it is estimated, 1,000 loads on the surface. The prospects in this mine are good, as high as ~ an oz. to the load having been got. No. 4 have had two trial washings, one not payable, and the other of 50 loads giving 7 dwts. to the load.

I may mention that there are one or two rich claims between No.4 and Tynan’s. The next prospecting claim I propose to describe, viz., Yankee Charlie’s and Colburt’s. In the former the proprietors have raised 800 loads, and have picked out a considerable quantity of coarse gold; in the latter, Colburt’s, about 500 loads are at surface, from which nuggets of considerable size have been obtained. Tynan’s.-Tynan’s prospecting claim is situated nearly a mile below Parker’s, and about ! of a mile from Murray’s prospecting claim, and the protection area was taken up early in May last year.

Payable gold was reported on the 5th of July. At a depth of 70 feet wash averaging 3 feet deep was discovered. The width of the run in one portion of the claim was 80 feet, in another 120. The prospects obtained when payable gold was reported wasfrom 3 to 6 grains to the dish. This return is an average from eight dishes. Some coarse gold was found from 7 to 15 dms. in weight. Messrs. Tynan and party have about 2,000 loads of washdirt raised, but have not as yet had any trial washing. They report the gold to be evenly distributed through the wash. A great deal of work has been done on this claim. Seven shafts have been sunk averaging 70 feet in depth, and the owners are now taking out nearly 100 feet square of wash, working two faces at either end of the claim; 11 men are employed.

This claim is described as on the main gully, but fed by leaders from the reefs which bound it on either side. In the adjoining claim, north (Finlay and party), spare ground, some very coarse gold has been found-one 10-oz. nugget, besides some smaller ones. This party have raised 100 loads, that will probably yield from’ 15 o dms. to an ounce to the load. In No. I North (Welsh and party) coarse gold has been found, and they have raised about 1,400 loads, as good or perhaps better in quality than Finlay’s. No. 2 North (Moran and party) have in their claim about 4 feet of wash, and have about 800 loads estimated payable. In No.3 and 4 North the owners have about 1,000 loads each. Payable gold has been traced all the way between Tynan’s and Murray’s prospecting claims, but it is impossible to describe each claim. Going south from Tynan’s, payable wash has been got in eight claims, and each party have raised from 200 to 800 loads of wash. Murray’s.-The protection area of this claim was taken up on the 19th of February, 1880, and payable gold was reported in May following. The prospects washed were 3 or 4 dwts. to the dish for three dishes.

The depth of sinking is 76 feet, and the depth of wash-dirt from 6 to 7 feet, and the width 60 feet. The owners of this claim have nuggeted out about 60 ozs., and washed one load of dirt and prospects. The load gave 4 ozs. 12 dwts. ; the prospects yielded as much as 6 ozs. to the bag, or about two buckets. The quantity of dirt at the surface on this claim is about 1,100 loads. Six men have been employed from the time the claim was first taken up. In No. I North (Gradon and party) the prospects are very good; they have picked out a good deal of coarse gold, and have raised about 1,300 loads. The next claim I shall describe is that known as No.1, or the Squatter’s, and No.2, north of Murray’s. . In this mine three shafts have been sunk, about 82 feet each in depth.

The washdirt, I am informed by the proprietors, is from 9 to 6 feet deep, and prospects about the same from top to bottom-that is, from 2 dwts. to 1 oz. to the dish. About 300 ozs. have been picked out of the washdirt. Amongst this gold there was one nugget weighing 67 ozs. some odd pennyweights and grains, and others weighing 30 and 20 ozs. As much as a pound weight to the bucket has been washed from this claim. A thousand loads of washdirt have been raised at the date of this report. In the main shaft of Bourke’s claim a large reef about 7 feet wide was struck, well defined, and apparently a good quality of stone. On the cap of this reef some very rich spccimens were found, estimated to yield 6 ozs. of gold to the pound weight of stone. Moloney’s Prospecting Glaim.-This claim is situated half a mile north of Murray’s prospecting claim, and was taken up early in May last. Payable gold was reported early in July; eighteen dishes yielded half a pennyweight to the dish, with Ii foot of washdirt. The depth of sinking is 86 feet, and four or five shafts were sunk before payable wash was discovered. Six men are employed, and they have raised from 700 to 1,000 loads of dirt, which they estimate will yield, at a low estimate, i an ounce to the load. Except the prospects I have mentioned, there have been no trial washings. No.1 north of the prospectors have washed 70 loads, which yielded 13 dwts. to the load, and have about 200 loads ready for the machine. The principal claims below Maloney’S prospecting claim, which is the last prospecting claim on the lead, are Keating’s and Adams’, Buckley’S, and that known as the Navvies’. Keating and Hayes’ claim has been proved, so far, to be the richest on the field. It is an ordinary block claim of six men’s ground-that is, 300 feet x 300 feet. The fortunate owners have nuggeted about 1,150 ozs., most of it heavy gold. They have 600 loads of washdirt at surface. Messrs. Buckley and party come next north, and they have picked out, I am informed, between six and seven hundred ozs., and havE’ raised about 650 loads of wash-dirt. East of Keating and Hayes’ and of Buckley and party is another rich claim, known as Nugent and Adams’. This party have piCked out between 400 and 500 ozs., and have 500 loads of wash dirt at grass. The F1’ontage Lead.-There is another run of gold besides what is known as the main lead, and great hopes were entertained that a deep lead had been discovered. The Deep or Frontage Lead lies about two miles east and parallel to Moloney’s prospecting claim. The prospectors are Messrs. Oraig and party, who reported payable gold last September. Their shaft is over 150 feet deep, that is, deep enough to bring the holding within the frontage system. I am informed that Messrs. Oraig and party have picked out about 30 ounces in coarse gold. They have had a trial washing, but I believe the results are not encouraging. I may state that water has been discovered on this lead, at a depth of 170 feet, in two shafts, about half a mile apart. In one of the shafts I am informed there is 20 feet of water, IJut that it does not make fast. The water is very brackish, but may prove useful if in sufficient quantity for puddling purposes. Quartz Reifs.- I shall make but brief mention of the quartz reefs at Temora, for the reason that but little work has been done on any of them, the miners’ attention being chiefly directed to the alluvial; but lately, owing to some rich specimens having been found in the claim known as Bourke’s, more attention has been paid to reefing, and a good many claims have been taken up, but until the various reefs have been prospected and machinery is erected to test the stone I am afraid we shall know but little concerning the value of the Temora reefs. Bourke’s Reef (concerning which a good deal of interest has been manifested) was first discovered about twelve months ago, but there are some old workings <;>n another line of reef close to it, which was prospected upwards of ten years ago by Messrs. Fitzpatrick and party. Bourke and party struck their reef at a depth of 15 feet; they have sunk about 25 feet, and the reef is 2 feet wide, showing gold freely through the stone. South, and adjoining Bourke’s claim, is that known as the Amelia Company, who have sunk a shaft 80 feet, intending to catch the underlay at about 100 feet. There are other claims on Bourke’s line whose prospects are reported as encouraging, but I am not able to give any particulars concerning them. On Rich’s Reef, which is about half a mile west of Upper Temora, foul’ claims are taken up-in all twenty-two men’s ground, that is, 1,320 feet on the line of reef, which averages 4 feet in width, and bears east to west, underlying north. Smith and Meurant are the prospectors of Rich’s line, and in their claim some stone which appears to be payable has been raised. The deepest shaft on the line, I am informed, is 25 feet perpendicular. A good deal of prospecting is being carried on in this neighbourhood, but so far no discoveries have been made which need special mention. Gonclusion.-In conclusion, I may state that there is reason to suppose, from the discoveries already made, that this is a payable and probably a rich gold-field, but nothing certain can be known as to its value until water for washing the dirt raised can be procured. In many of the claims there is a great depth and width of washdirt, but I am afraid that in some instances great disappointment will ensue because too much dirt has been raised. By this, I mean that the stratum of payable wash does not extend the whole depth or width of the gutter: whether it does or not can only be ascertained by actual trial. The coarse gold and large nuggets that have been picked out of the dirt in some of the. rich claims will ensure this field a thorough prospecting for a great distance in all directions, and this research will probably be the means of discovering other and possibly deep leads. I have caused careful inquiry to be made as to the quantity of washdirt actually raised on this field, and the return is about 65,000 loads. This quantity, it must be borne in mind, could easily be doubled and perhaps trebled in a very short time, as many of the mines have been so worked as to allow a large quantity of washdirt to be easily produced, should that already raised prove payable. I am informed also that there is a very large quantity of surfacing in the vicinity of Temora, which would pay wages if water was plentiful and cheap. Some very large nuggets have been found in various claims on the main lead, but it will not be necessary to give the weights of all of them, as this information has doubtless already been supplied by the Mining Registrar. The largest I have seen are as follows :-99, 76, 68, 50, 46, 28, 24, 16, and 14 ounces respectively. A great number of nuggets weighing half-an-ounce and upwards have been found. It is impossible to ascertain the quantity of gold won on this field since it was opened, but I can account beyond all doubt for 5,265 ozs. 8 dwts. 13 grs. Besides this doubtless a considerable quantity has been found, but no reliable or indeed any record has been kept, the Banks not having opened here lUltil July last. The number of payable claims on Temora at the present time is, as nearly as I can ascertain, 97. I am of opinion, as I have already stated, that this is a payable field, and capable of supporting a considerable population, but there can be no doubt that it has been much overdone. Miners and business people have bee:q too sanguine, and Temora will probably, as other goldfields have done, have to pass through many changes before it settles into its true position. I am afraid too that many of the business people who have invested too largely and hastily will have cause to wish that they had never seen the place. Temora has grown too fast. There is a town here that seems to have sprung up as if by magic; what a few months ago was a thick pine and sifting scrub, is now a large, well laid out, and populous town, which a stranger could easily conclude had been in exi8tence many years. The finding of large nuggets, whose weight is often greatly exaggerated by the newspapers, whose correspondents are not always chosen from the most truthful of the community, and who do not sufficiently reflect on the effect such reports produce and the ruin and misery they cause, is sure, in spite of past bitter experience, to cause a rush; thousands leave their homes, and business people plunge into a trade and provide stock, incurring an expense that the prospects of a new and untried field do not justify. After a time there is a reaction-people rush away as fast as they came-and the field is partially condemned before it has had a rair trial. It seems strange, I may remark, that on a gold-field most people do not think it necessary to exercise that caution, before they incur large expense or liabilities which they would certainly bring into play under any other circumstances; it is neck or nothing, without consideration of consequences. I may safely state that the large rush that has taken place here has been caused in a great measure by the fact that it is a long time since a rush of any consequence has taken place in the Oolonies, and doubtless many miners in these and other Oolonies and countries have been waiting for an opportunity to follow a pursuit which is rarely forsaken when once taken up. The prospects of Temora may be summed up in a very few words. The field appears to be extensive. If water can be obtained and the washdirt, which is plentiful, is payable-and there is good reason to suppose that it is-a considerable population will certainly settle permanently here. The land in this district is very good and extensive, and after the gold-field is exhausted it will be available for agricultural and pastoral purposes. Oarriage is cheap, the railway being close at hand, from which a tramway could easily be extended-the country being almost level to Temora-at a comparatively small expense. With these advantages Temora should before many years are past become a populous and prosperous place and district.S

"Were such a field as Temora found to exist in Victoria any number of speculators would be found willing to risk a few thousands in endeavouring to find this deep gutter, quite content with the possibility of finding it, and next with the possibility that when found it would richly repay the enterprise of the investors."

1882 MINES DEPARTMENT ANNUAL REPORT AND TEMORA

TEMORA. DIVISION. (Mr. Warden De Boos, P.M., Temora.)

I HAVE now the honor to make my report on the Temora Gold -field for the year 1882. The history of the Temora Gold-field for the past year is but a repetition of that of every other alluvial gold-field that has ever been worked in this or any other country. At some time or other the alluvial deposits must be worked out, and the question of the time when this result is attained is the only one in which these histories differ.

At Temora the period of decadence has set in sooner than usual, owing, first to the arid nature of the country, and next to the limited area within which work has been prescribed.

Taking the first of these causes, the long period of drought completely-I had almost said disheartened- the miners; but such a word cannot fairly be used towards those who have displayed so much courage in working on in spite of every impediment, and hoping against hope, have persevered in the face of difficulties which in any other avocation would have driven men to despair.

However, they were so far prejudiced against the field that whenever a sufficiency of water was available the owners of the richer claims, who could afford to pay the high price for puddling then demanded at the water shafts, .7s. and 7s. 6d. pel’ load, got their dirt washed up, and having obtained the proceeds, cleared out from the field which offered them so few inducements to remain, instead of as in other places risking some of the gains in prospecting for further deposits.

These having quitted the field, there would then only be left behind those who with poorer dirt could not afford to puddle it until better times came, when water was more plentifnl and puddling cheaper.

Th~se men, who had to live hardly enough as it was during this period of expectancy, had not the means of undertaking anything like a systematic prospect of the conntry, still less to incur the expense of deep sinking, such as I shall hereafter refer to. Intermittent efforts were however made, but only limited in extent.

Discouragement succeeded discouragement, and as no outside aid came in to assist them-for almost aU outside capitalists who bought into claims were unfortunate, and burnt their fingers-no sustained efforts were made either to trace out the old lead or to discover a new one. This cause has been in operation during 1882, and the mining population has gradually thinned down in consequence.

But the first heavy blow and great discouragement that the field received and that has added materially to the ill effects of the course first mentioned was when the main lead was suddenly lost a little below the Frenchman’s claim. Having run a distance of about 2 miles, along which the lead was tolerably well traceable-though intermittent in several places-it suddenly ran out nearly in a line with the” London Tavern.”

And yet near this very spot were some of the richest nuggetty claims on the field, Buckley’s, Nugent and Adams, the Frenchman’s, &c. Attempts were made to pick it up along a course of fully a mile and a half, and at one time it was thought that it had been struck at the Grecian Bend, but without success, the Grecian Bend proving to be nothing more than a patch, and a very poor one at the same time.

There was thus no prospect of any extension of the field, and consequently every miner who was not interested in one of the claims then at work was left withont a prospect of employment, and if he had the mea.ns was not slow in leaving the place. It may, however, be mentioned here that though efforts were made to trace the lead in the direction I have indicated, that is, down the surface water-way, or north-east, no sustained or systematic attempts at prospecting for it were made crossways, to the left or west of the lead, where a low ridge forms the boundary of the existing water-way.

But this ridge or rise is a mere surface indication, and there is every reason to believe that it consists of nothing more than alluvial deposit, and not of rock, or that at all events there is an exit through it by which the lost lead may have pushed its way into what appears now by surface indications as another water-course. Whether this be so or not, and the question is really worth trying, the mischief was done when the lead gave out, as the work was narrowed down to that portion of country that had been opened up to that time.

It was lost on the northern end, whilst it could not be extended on the south-eastern end, as there the range was unmistakably rocky, having been so proved to be in every direction by quartz-claims. The field thus limited, it can be easjly understood that the end was almost in sight, depending as it must upon the time when the heaps should be wao;hed up.

Then came the copious supplies of water that filled the dams, tanks and reservoirs in every direction, in the latter part of the winter and the early spring of last year, enabling the miners to wash up their dirt at a reasonable figure, and to make available wash that under other circumstances must have been left on the ground.

So much wa~ this the case that as the heaps of wash-dirt disappeared one after the other, water became of no value since there was no longer dirt to wash, and the puddlers in many cases undertook the work for mere wages, that is, for the . oo~ :.. their water, and in several instances they set in to wash the mullock heaps around the shafts in immediate proximity to their machines, with the hope probably of corning across some patches of wash that may have been cut through in sinking and unnoticed at the time.

Such things have occurred here, and in one notable instanc·e a rich layer of wash was left behind at (I forget the exact depth now), but at all events somewhere about half-way down to where the washdirt was expected to be found; and it was only by the accidental di~placement of a nugget of more than usually interesting size that the run of auriferous drift was made manifest.

It may be considered as very probable that more than one good nugget still lies buried in the heaps of mullock that bank up the staging of the shaft’s mouth, for unlike other fields the run of wash at Temora has been exceedillgly irregular in depth, even 30 and 40 feet of difference having been found in several instances.

In the early days of the field when water was unobtainable, payable patches of drift may have been cut through unobserved, as prospects could not be tested; but whether the mullock heaps will pay for washing or not is another question. It may suit puddlers with full tanks and nothing else to do to set in on them, but I hardly expect that taking them all round wages will be made from them. Of the many claims on the lead which have been opened and worked there remain only some ten or a dozen upon which work is still carried on. The chief one of these is the Golden Gate, which, to all appearance from the wonderful depth of wash-dirt found in it, will find work for its shareholders for the next twelve or eighteen months.

The Chief Geological Surveyor, Mr. Wilkinson, has visited and reported on this claim, which, from the deep gulch in what is apparently the bed rock that has been found there, forms a geological problem, the solution of which would be of the greatest interest.

Apart, however, from the lead already worked, aud which may be said to be virtually worked out, the indications of deep ground which have been given along the whole length, from Upper Temora right down to the worked end of the lead, are such as to suggest the Possibility, if not the probability, of the existence of a deep lead at some considerable depth below that recently worked. Some of the water shafts have been put down to a depth of about 400 feet through a purely alluvial deposit, and without touching the bed rock. In Wearne’s water-shaft at Lower Temora a gravelly or rather sandy grit, with some few water-worn stones, was gone through without corning to anything that in any ,yay indicated a proximity to the bed rock.

In the same way the indications given at other shafts, and more particularly at those on the Deep Lead, would almost lead to the inference that there must be a deep gutter somewhere. Whether it is auriferous or not is another matter; but, seeing that all the gold hitherto discovered is pure reef gold, lying almost in situ, for it is little, if at all water-worn, and seeing the immense amount of alluvial action that must have occurred to cause the deposit of these deep beds of alluvium, it is not by any means improbable that the older water-courses underlying those hitherto worked may contain deposits lodged there in ages antecedent to those which placed the Temora nuggets in the spots whence they have been so recently unearthed.

Were such a field as Temora found to exist in Victoria any number of speculators would be found willing to risk a few thousands in endeavouring to find this deep gutter, quite content with the possibility of finding it, and next with the possibility that when found it would richly repay the enterprise of the investors. Whilst alluding to the alluvial working it may be remarked as a singular thing that no alluvial deposits, either surface or deep sinking, have yet been found at Barmedman, although the reefs there are unquestionably rich, and although prospecting shafts have been sunk in every direction and in every position that would seem to indicate a probability of success. It would almost seem that even in the midst of the great pluvial force which must have been employed to deposit the immense mass of alluvium that has rendered this part of the country almost a level, filling up the gullies until they are barely to be distinguished from the hill~, it would seem that with all this force there had been no abrasion of tIle reefs, but that these had been quietly silted up by the deposits brought down from a region, whose softer strata had yielded to the aqueous action. The reefs here are very numerous, and are nearly all buried under an alluvial deposit. In the majority of ca~es no surface indications of their existence are offered, and this would to some extent bear out the theory just indicated. With regard to the reefs at Temora proper, I have no great expectation of their turning out anything wonderful. The appearance of the stone is not very promising, though it may possibly improve at a depth sufficiently to become payable; but only then by a proper system of working being adopted, and by means being secured for crushing at the claim, so as to sare the ruinous cost of carting. The rich veins opened up by Lucas and party were nothing more than a few limited patches, for they ran out within a very short distance. Similar veins will in all probability be struck from time to time in some of the claims, but more especially in the vicinity of the diorite dyke which runs along the eastern range from Upper to Lower Temora. It is, however, really a question whether these veins thus placed do not in reality rob the main reef instead of feeding it, for as yet no good body of reef-stone has been found in proximity with the veins, and. the evidence hitherto has gone to show that the reef-stone has been all the poorer for the riches of the vein. It wonld almost seem from the position in situ, and the unworn character of the alluvia.! gold at Temora, that there had been a net-work of these veins at some former period; that from their softer and disjointed character, owing to the large amount of gold they held, they had been broken do·wn and formed the deposits now working; and that the harder, less yielding, and poorer quartz of the reefs had resisted abrasion and atmospheric action through the very qualities that now render it valueless. Up to the present the yield from crushings has been anything but satisfactory; but as no systematic work has yet been done to test the stone at different levels these crushings hardly form a criterion for what may be done. It will not be until the reefs fall into good hands, that will give them a fair test at various depths, that anything like a correct estimate of their value can be formed. Under any circumstances a totany different system to that now followed will have to be pursued before the Temora stone can be made payable. Barmedman is a very promising reefing country, so much so that it appears strange that it should have been allowed to remain neglected for so long a time. The reefs were originally taken up some ten or twelve years ago, but after going through various vicissitudes they ultimately dwindled down and languished until the only parties who were plucky enough to stand by them were the Brothers Quail. These gentlemen, with an amount of perEeverance that does them infinite credit, through good report and evil report, through hard times, and_times good only by compariwn, hung on to the claims on the Ada reef for for seven or eight years, and, I am happy to say, at last got their reward. Part of their ground was jumped, a law-suit ensued, public attention was drawn to the spot, the law-suit was arranged, the claims were floated for a good round sum, and they now Iorm what is known as the Barmedman United Gold-mining Company. Some idea of the character of the stone may be gathered from the circumstance that during the time the Messrs. Qnail held and worked the ground something like 1,600 tons of stone were crushed. The battery at which the crnshing took place was only a very pOOl’ one, the tables were even worse than the battery, and water waEl so 8carce that only a very moderate quantity indeed was allowed to the boxes. Yet, with all these drawbacks, the average yield of gold on the 1,500 tons was 13 dwts. to the ton. The main reef is from 5 to 7 feet thick, enclosed in well-defined lodes, and making as it goes down. In close approximation to the Barmedman United are the Italians’, Jackson’s, Fanny Park, a11(1 another claim recently floated in Melbourne. All these, together with “Wright’s, and one 01’ two ot11ers near by, are in active work; and by the iime this report appears in print there will be the ‘.lnmistakeable test of crushing in a good and reliable battery applied to the reefs. A very large body of underground water is found generally all over the Barmedman field, at an average level of about 60 feet below the surface. It is very strongly mineralised, but as there is reason to believe that it is llothing more than surface soakage it is expected that it will become purer as it is used, until it, at all events, becomes fit for generating steam. That pumped from the Barmedman United shaft is now being stored in the Oompany’s reservoir, to be employed for the tables, and if necessity should compel in the boilers. If, as it is surmised, this water is merely a surface supply from soakage, it cannot be regarded as permanent; and should two or three of the companies start crushing plants at the same time the supply must necessarily become exhausted, and water from some other source will have to be introduced. Some of the old residents of the pInce say that this will not be difficult, but the question of water supply is cet’tainly the most serious, and should be the first for any Barmedman Company to settle. The reefs have been traced along a distance of some 4 miles in a S.E. direction, passing by the Hard to Find to the Phrenix, in the direction of Temora. Good payable stone has been raised at both the abovenamed localities, and if straightforward honest mining be carried on without the market riggiug that too often accompanies the action of companies, there is a good future before Barmedman. The people themselves seem to entertain the same idea. A nice little township 11as been established here, with streets of the regulation width. 1\1”1’. Surveyor Metcalfe was sent up by his department, luckily in the very nick of time, and in conjunction with myself selected the site of the township, and aligned the main street. This having been donf:’, I have to thank the energy and public sph’it of Mr. James Fraser, for keeping the tents, &c., in line, and preventing miners and others from encroaching on the street during my absence. The main street presents a very respectable appearance, and there are two really first-class hotels erected, besides others of a secondary character. Sebastopol, which some years back occupied a considel’able amount of attention, but which, in common with other mining localities, fell into neglect at the time of the great mining collapse of ten years ago, and for no other reason than that e,ery one had been f’0 bitter as to be disgusted with the very name of reefing, has once more commenced to raise its head. It has been brought into notice under good and reliable auspices, and parties of character and position ha,\e taken up the reefs, which were so heedlessly deserted. Some very excellent retUl’lIS were obtained from here when the reefs were formerly ,,·orked, and it seems hard to conceive howe’\er thf:’y could have been sufferf:’d to fall into neglect unless upon the Bupposition above given. Trial crushings have recently given sufficient returns to give confidence, and as there is a large body of stone in the several lines of rt!ef it is not at all unlikely that Sebastopol will once again be established as a reefing district. It is strange that here, as at Barmedman, no alluvial has been found, despite a large amount of prospecting that has been done in search of it. It is the more strange, as here the country is more undulating than is the level countl’y to the north-west, whilst the very pronounced character of the hilly slopes wouM naturally, in conjullction ~”ith the numel’OUS reefs, lead to the expectation that alluvial deposits would be found in the valleys. Nothing of the kind, however, has yet been found. A large battery has been erected at Possum Power, but owing to mismanagement no good has been done with it. 1’wo or three prospecting parties were at work at “the bf:’ginning of the year testing the country about Buddegower and Wyalong, but nothing favourable has been reported, though there seems to be an opinion amongst old residents that a lead of gold exists in that direction. ‘1’he geological formation of the country favours that impression, consisting as it does of numerous slate ridges seamed with quartz-veins.

"Three cwt. from this reef, crushed in Sydney, gave at the rate of 130 ozs. per ton. A week ago a second trial of 25 cwt. crushed at an ordinary battery gave the return of 100 ozs. 9 dwts. of gold per ton. The stone in the paddock promises at least 2 or 3 ozs. per ton, and this I consider the lowest possible estimate."

1882 MINES DEPARTMENT ANNUAL REPORT AND BARMEDMAN

I HAVE the honor to forward the returns as to gold-mining in quartz-reefs at Barmedman. In doing so I may explain that I have purposely delayed sending my report till the success of the Pulveriser a newly-invented quartz crushing machine, was established or otherwise.

I may mention that the probable wear of the machine was known to the purchasers shortly after its arrival, and it was only expected to work properly with certain improvements which were ordered from the machinists.

The articles not arriving in time the manager commenced to work the pulveriser in order to test the actual capabilities of the cast-iron bearers and spindles. The result was rather in excess of the anticipation, for the wear by friction was excessively great.

There was no attempt made to test the suggested improvemerits, but shareholders insisted that stampers should instantly be procured, and the progress of mining should not be delayed.

This machine is placed on the ground owned by the Ada Gold-mining Company, which comprises Nos. 3 and 4 ofthe north line of the Ada Reef, formerly owned by Quail Brothers. J acbon’s Reef also intersects this reef, the ground being within a few yards of Jackson’s main shaft, from where a great crushing has been recently obtained.

No paddock-stone has 1)een yet crushed by the Ada Gold-mining Company, but the reef was cut yesterday in the main shaft at 120-ft. level, at a distance of 50 feet from the shaft. Jackson’s Reef Gold-mining Company occupy ground contiguous to No.2 North Ada and to the previously named company. Jackson’s Reef ‘was discovered some fifteen or sixteen months back, and was eventually sold to Messrs. Hunter and Solomon>’, and has since been formed into a company.

Three cwt. from this reef, crushed in Sydney, gave at the rate of 130 ozs. per ton. A week ago a second trial of 25 cwt. crushed at an ordinary battery gave the return of 100 ozs. 9 dwts. of gold per ton. The stone in the paddock promises at least 2 or 3 ozs. per ton, and this I consider the lowest possible estimate. No. 2 North Ada has lately proved itself to be the best claim at Barmedman, so far as the width of reef is concerned.

Although the P. Claim is equal in width it has not yet been worked in the same systematic style as the No.2. The P. Claim I may mention is termed by miners as a pick and shovel claim, its undoubted prestige being announced by giving the following returns from about 1,500 tons of stone crushed at an inferior battery (condemned by the Barmedman United Gold-mining Company at Barmedman), the reef being crushed throughout at an average width of from 10 to 20 feet. The P. Claim and No. 2 have both been treated by the local machine, erected by Messrs. Minter and Maher, and such crushings have yielded an average of 13 dwts. per ton, there having been crushed about 1,500 tons. Quail’s Prospecting Claim, now known as the Barmedman United Gold-mining Company’s, has been worked for the past nine years. About 750 tons of quartz have been crushed from this reef, giving a return of from 12 dwts. to 13 dwts.; in many cases the return has been greater, but 12i dwts. may be considered the correct return, as verified by bank slips. The Fanny Park has always been considered by me as one and the same reef as the Ada.

Although apparently separate it still has the appearance of being a shot-over, or, as we term it in mining, the cap of a reef being turned over. The Fanny Park is considered very rich. ,Vhen the Quail Brothers were working the Prospecting claim, t~e richest gold “Was obtained from the same quartz as now being raised by the Fanny Park. The Fiery Cross is, beyond doubt, a continuation of the Fanny Park, the surface stone being of a soft, crumbly nature, and very easily crushed. This reef varies in width considerably, but at water level, where it seems to be better defined, it averages from 4 to 5 feet.

To the I’louth of the Fiery Cross two claims are occupied, in which many shafts have been sunk; howev:er ther~ has not been any payable returns, the only gold discovered being some months back, by a party of foreIgners, who procured some a few feet from the surface.

Wright and party’s reef is in a southerly direction from the Barmedman United Gold-mining Company’s ground, and, being an exception to most of our reefs, lies in an easterly and westerly direction. This reef carries exceptionally fine gold, and from various tests (owing to the want of machinery) to which it bas undergone, it is fully supposed to yield at least 1 i oz. or 2 ozs. per ton. There are already 300 tons of stone at grass, awaiting treatment. Lett Lett and party’s is a parallel reef to Wright’s, and, presumably, a continuation of the Ada line. Mr. Slee’s and my own opinion both coincide that the Ada, Fanny Park, and Fiery Cross is one and the same reef, and that Lett’s and Wright’s are merely diverging branches. The Hard to :Find, the principal claim being the lease owned by Roderick and party, which has been worked a considerable number of years, it is situate about 2 miles from Barmedman.

Although this reef has been so long worked there has only been about 300 tons of stone crushed, which yielded from 20~ dwts. to 28~ dwts. This reef, although comparatively small, beiug in some places not over 8 inches, is extremely rich.

Wright and party occupy some ground situated between the lease and Morellis’, No.1 North Hard to Find, in which they have recently obtained a very promising reef j but, being like most other reefs obtained in close proximity to the water, prevents individual capital from fully developing same. At Morellis and partys, the reef apparently narrows at the southern end, but continues its width, viz., 2 feet, in the northerly end of the workings. The best specimens were obtained at water level.

A cwt. taken out before attaining that depth was forwarded to the Mint, and yielded atthe rate of 160 ozs. 13 dwts. per ton. The No.2 North is owned by Barnett and party, and contains a very large reef, varying in width from 4 to 5 feet. This is an almost new discovery, and has, owing to the want of machinery, been very little worked. However, it is unanimously asserted that, with the exception of Jackson’s, it will yield the most handsome returns on the field. Attwell and party are sinking for Barnett’s Reef, but owing to the great dip which most reefs in this district take considerable difficulty is experienced before cutting same. The Moonlight is a line of reef situate east of the Hard to Find, and has been opened some few months back.

The vein has been traced through the prospectors’, viz., eight men’s ground, and shows very good gold. The width of the reef is from 6 to 12 inches, but it is supposed that other large bodies of stone intersect this ground. The walls are well defined and are of slate and sandstone formation.

There are three claims under occupation at the Phamix, a distance of 3 miles from :J3armedman; the deepest shaft is the No.1, owned by Fraser and party, their main shaft being 106 feet, at which depth they have cut a very well-defined reef, carrying very good gold. The prospecting claim on this line, the proprietors have most unfavourably been engaged in seemingly an interminable law dispute, which has considerably retarded the progress of their claim, also prevented capital being expended, as speCUlators are very dubious about investing in any claim which is likely to result in a law-suit, that luxury being considered rather expensive. The total amount of quartz to grass is about 5,000 tons.

There not being any crushing plant little energy is displayed in raising of same. There is an abundance of water, and although being of a brackish nature can be utilized by the machines j it is obtained at about the 70-feet level, and appears to be a general thing, as at the Hard to Find, as well as at the B.N.G.M. Co.’s claim, a subterranean channel appears to exist.

I may further add that on yesterday the Ada Gold-mining Company cut the reef after driving some 20 or 30 feet from main shaft, and have continued with the drive a distance of 8 feet without meeting with any walls, and as this reef is 20 feet wide in some places in the adjoining claim it may be a considerable time before its width can be accurately ascertained The value of the machinery may be estimated at about £10,000, the B.N.G.1\f. Compl1ny’s plant consisting of half of this amount. The number of miners’ rights issued for the past year were ten, and business licenses eight j but the population coming from another mining centre, in which most were provided with miners’ rights, accounts for the small demand. There has not been any alluvial gold discovered yet, and but very little prospecting for same, the nature of the country being very fiat, and any indications are quite discernible and surface water very Bcarce.

"At Temora the number of miners has considerably reduced, some having been attracted to Sunny Corner, others to Silverton and elsewhere.

"Attention has recently been called to the splendid reef country north of Barmedman, and a prospecting party is now engaged in that direction."

1884 MINES DEPARTMENT ANNUAL REPORT EXTRACTS

Temora. This gold-field, from which some portion of our mining community expected such great results, has dwindled down considerably, both in the yield of gold and population.

My opinion, from the first time I yisited Temora, has been that the quartz-reefs so far opened wonld not prove payable, but that narrow rich veins would be discovered at or near the alluvial workings along the valley out of which such heavy deposits of gold have been taken.

It is quite evident that there is no continuous lead in the Temora valley, and hence miners must look for the source froUl which said valley received its payable auriferous deposits in the narrow quartz-veins from the brow of hills ill the immediate vicinity of the alludal workings, or in the alluvial itself.

N early all the nuggets found appear as if they had been part and parcd of some narrow veins close at hand; few if any of the nuggets have a waterworn appeamncc.

There is still ample room for prospecting in this district, and soonor or later the Temora gold-field may once more advance.

Barmedman was inspected by me in February. The population at that time was about 300, but Ims greatly diminished of late. \Vith one or two exceptions the quartz-yeins at Barmedman arc vcry irregubr; their strikes are almost all points of the eompass j they occur in blocks or fragment.s of v(~iJls, and their very irregularity compels mining managers and miners to follow a system of fossickiug rather than systematic mining. The Barmedman United G.1\I.C. arc still sinking and otherwise developing their mine; they have a 25-head crushing plant at their mine, and during the year 1884 crushed about 1,200 tons of quartz, yielding about 6 dwt. of gold per ton.

At Temora the number of miners has considerably reduced, some having been attracted to Sunny Corner, others to Silverton and elsewhere.

Of the 13,791 oz. of gold purchased by the banks, 9,742 oz. WH.B obtained from alluvium, and 4,049 oz. from quartz_ During the first four months of the year very little mining was done owing to the drought.

The quantity of gold sent away by escort was 14,381 oz. 16 dwt.1 gr.; this is supposed to include the gold won at Temora, Barmedman, and Sebastopol.

Of the above quantity 3,351 oz. 5 dwt. 6 gr. was from Barmedman, and probably some 430 oz. from Sebastopol. During the year 21 nuggets were found, varying in weight from 5 oz. to 175 oz. 15 dwt., and weighingin the aggregat0 675 oz. 14 dwt. No new leads have been discovered.

There are Bome payable elailWJ llear to but at a shallower level than the old Temora main lead, and it is not unlikely that a large tract 0of payable ground will be found in that direction. Between 45,000 and 50,000 loads of wash-dirt puddled during the year-yield, 10,000 oz. 9 dwt. 3 gr.

There aro only two quartz-mines at work, viz., tho South AU8tralian Company, who crushed during the yoar 64S tOllS for 340 oz. of gold, and the Hidden Star, which is said to ha\e crushed about 100 tons, yicldiug nearly 1 oz. per ton. At Barmcdman, from 16 claima, 6,216 tons have been crushed, yielding 3,351 oz. 5 dwt. 12 gr., the averago yields from the several claims varying from 5 dwt. IS gr. to 2 oz. 15 dwt. 12 gr.; the reefs are large and easy to work ..

Tho prospects of the Barmedman Company appear to have considerably improved. During the past yearfrom the Little Ada claim some stone near tho surface gave 3 oz. per ton, and soveral crushings from the Fanny Park have gi\en payable returns, but the year’s average has been seriously decreased by reason of a large quantity of inferior stone raised from some of the large reefs having to be crushed.

Attention has recently been called to the splendid reef country north of Barmedman, and a prospecting party is now engaged in that direction. 30 tons of quartz, taken from an abandoned mine on Pike’s Reef,25 miles south-west of Temora, yielded 173 oz. ; 50 tons of quartz from Doctor’s Reef, Old J unee reefs, llas yielded 6 dwt. per ton; 47 tons of quartz from Sebastopol gave 35 oz. Between 300 and 400 tons of stone has been raised from the Evening Star Claim, Sebastopol, which is expected to yield from 12 to 15 dwts. per ton.

The reef is from 11 to 13 fect wiele at a depth of 65 feet. At Young tho season has been generally unfavourable for mining. The machinery erected at l\Iinter and Company’s mine to work thedeep lead is not sufficiently powerful to overcome the water and raise wash-dirt, and additional plant is being procured.

"At Temora most of the alluvial mines were flooded during the heavy rains, and after they had been drained it was found that owing to the soft nature of the country the shafts and drives had been destroyed, so that the works had to be started afresh."

1886 MINES DEPARTMENT EXTRACTS

At Temora most of the alluvial mines were flooded during the heavy rains, and after they had been drained it was found that owing to the soft nature of the country the shafts and drives had been destroyed, so that the works had to be started afresh.

The quartz mines have been steadily but surely progressing. The South Australiau Oo’s., mine has continued to yield steadily payable-returns; at the same time lodes have been disclosed which it is thought win be permanently profitable.

Attempts are being made to form companies with capital to work the Hidden Star, Mother Shipton, and other mines at Temora; also the mines at Sebastopol, Muttama, and Barmedman.

The quantity of gold which passed through the Gold Receivers’ hands at Temora, in 1886, was 7,161 oz. 10 dwt. 5 gr.; this includes gold from Sebastopol and Bal’medman.

The quantity of gold that passed through the Banks at Temora during the year was 7,5·17 oz. It is not known what proportion of the gold was from alluvial and quartz mines respectively; but it is known that one of the Banks purchased some 1,360 oz. from alluvial workings, and some 1,431 oz. from the quartz workings, at Barmedman.

Owing to the stoppage Jf the works of the Barmedman United Company, tIle miners were unable to get stone crushed withont sending it to Temor:L during the first half of the year.

In June last the Company sold their mine and plant, which were purchased by Mr. Cassin and other local storekeepers. Since then 1,616 tons of quartz have been crushed, for a yield of 2,054 oz. 1O dwt. 1 gr. The last crushing of 329 tons, taken from thirteen different claims, gave an average of 2 oz. 12 gr. of gold pel’ ton.

The whole of the stone l’aised was taken from above the water level 80 feet. It is regretted that the Barmedman United Co., which had the requisite appliances, did not explore their mine at greater depth, a,s it is thought that the mine if thoronghly tested below the water level would prove payable. A

t the” Hard to Find” mine an engine and pnmps have been placed on the ground with a view to testing below water level. At Mutta::na some rich stone was discovered in one of the olel workings, aud farther workings have induced hopes that the locality will prove a valuable quartz-mining’ district.

Sebastopol should be a prosperous mining centre, but the minCfl have been ruined by bad management and litigation. At “Vantiool very little work has been done, the quantity of gold won being 113 oz. 7 dwt. 8 gr.