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Inverell Tin Report

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Thursday 7 November 1872, The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser


(From the Correspondent of the Evening News.)

I have before this written on the uselessness of the holders of small blocks of stanniferous land trying to work them satisfactorily or with profit to their owners. For the life of me I cannot make out why they stick to them with such pertinacity. If the owners of a lot of these small blocks would just put their heads together, and their land also, and form a sort of joint stock company, under a good manager, I would say that there was some sense left amongst the miners of New England. Speak about the matter and you may hear this reply—Oh yes, that would be a first class affair, but who is to commence it. Another may say—Oh, I would much rather sell; it would suit me better, &c. I hope that some energetic gentleman will take the matter up, and endeavour to arrange matters. It is a pity to have so much tin lying unearthed. Why should miners stand so much in their own light ? I will leave that subject for the present, and go at the tin. I am anxious to get quickly through this report, so as to catch the mail. Work seems to be the order of the day, all, or the greater portion of the different mines, have again started, since the flood, erecting dams, &c. Much activity prevails.

Middle Creek.—The late floods washed all the dams away on that creek, throwing a great many out of employment for a few days. The Sydney Tin- mining Company. Their manager, R. N. Thomas, Esq., has not been idle ; dams all completed again, &c. There is a great population around this mine. Mr. Thomas, with praiseworthy energy, is having a school erected ; it will soon be finished. There are about seventy men employed by the Sydney Company. I think that it would be a great benefit to the miners at that and other mines if the directors of companies would erect a reading-room and lending library for their employees. There are many intelligent miners, who would gladly, after a hard day’s work, take a book or a paper to amuse themselves with.

The Ancient Briton. This company’s workings in the creek could not of course escape the general destruction, the manager of that mine, R. Brickwood, Esq., has not been idle since the flood subsided, he is again energetically pushing on the work. Mr Brickwood has several tons of tin cleaned and bagged ready for forwarding, when he can obtain teams. The New Banca Tin Mine is on Stony Creek, a tributary of Cope’s Creek. This company owns 200 acres of ground. Portions of this ground are very rich. I visited this company’s ground the other day, but unfortunately their manager (J. Brew, Esq., late of Araluen), was absent. It is all surface work in this mine at present, the stuff has to be carted over half a mile to the dams, where the boxes are set. I passed over the ground that had been worked previous to Mr Brew taking the management. I picked up several pieces of tin, size of peas, that the rain had uncovered. On remarking to one of the men that such stuff should not have been left behind, he replied, that it was not intended to be, as Mr Brew was about to erect a puddling machine to extract the tin from the sticky clay. There is a rich lode on this company’s ground. A shaft was sunk on a leader to the depth of ten feet. The leader on the surface was but two inches in width, at the depth of ten feet it widened out to eight inches, and very rich. There are, or were at the time of my visit, but four men employed on this mine, Mr Brew having discharged some, so I was informed. He has been very busy since the flood subsided having erected two substantial dams, but is at present hampered for the want of drays to cart the wash dirt. Horses of any sort are very scarce up here and dear. A few hundred imported would meet with a ready sale. But to proceed. My informant told me that Mr Brew was about to despatch six or seven tons of splendid tin away, to judge by the roughness of it, it must go a high percentage.

I will now take across the country to the Long Arm or Made Water Creek, a tributary of the Big River, and start there with the A.T.M. Company. It is the intention of their manager, J. Boatwright, Esq., to start washing there next week if possible. He has been waiting for a horse-power pump this length of time. It is at Murrurundi. Carriers are not to be got.

Then Bengonover Mine, below the A.T.M., the property of G. T. T. Butler, Esq., and Co.: There are four men employed at this mine, washing about 1½ cwt. of tin a day. Further down the creek, and near its junction with the Quart Pot Creek, is the mine of Messrs. Platt, Pike, and Co. It comprises 120 acres. By next Monday there will be eight or ten men employed on it; five men at present getting near 2 cwt. of tin a day now. Lower Cope’s Creek; McLeod and Co., below the junction of Auburn Vale with Cope’s Creek: The Messrs. McLeod are not working, waiting to conclude negotiations for the sale of their ground. It is a pity this fine property should lie idle one day. There is no public company wanted to work it. That mine is the pride of Lower Cope’s Creek, as it has every advantage.

The Australian Tin-mining Company.—This company is again at work. Their manager Mr Boatwright, has opened, or opening, immediately above the junction of the Auburn Vale Creek. When I visited that ground the men were busy bringing up tail races, and bringing on head race, &c At the upper work, or original starting point, Pine Tree Camp, he is busy sluicing away with very fair results. Mr. Boatwright is endeavouring to get a good face on his work so that he can work into the island. It Is almost an impossibility to make headway on account of the enormous quantity of boulders that are piled here. He does not seem however, to be disheartened, as he looks for ultimate success.

Boggy Camp Tin Mine.—Messrs. Marsh and Co. have four men employed at present on this mine. In four days they obtained considerably over half a ton of tin, sluicing; they are putting on a lot of hands next week—they have them already engaged.

The St. Kilda.—Messrs. Franey and Co. have again started, shaping indeed well; have sent away four tons of beautiful tin. That little mine keeps up its character well.

The Excelsior, Dead Dog Gully.—Started last Monday, under the management of Mr. J. Scott, of Armidale. They are busy at the mine making preparations for sluicing. The Pine Ridge claim: Messrs. Coupland, Lunny, and Co., at work putting in a large dam.

White’s Mine.—Not working at present. Messrs. Skews and Co. making preparations to open. The Wansworth: Messrs. Ryder, Brothers, and Co. They have five men employed, and getting about a ton of tin a week. Two-mile Creek—Messrs. Low and Oliver (late McKenzie’s). This is a mine of 60 acres in extent. The present owners are doing well in it.

Watts and Co.—About 180 acres; three partners and one hired man at work, but cannot say how doing. Messrs. Franey and Co., of the St. Kilda, hold on the left branch. Two-mile Creek, 100 acres; they are making preparations to open their ground at this point; prospects well. Messrs. Oliver and Low opened on last Monday, at Flaggy Gully, head of Quart-pot Creek. Cannot say how that mine is shaping.

The following mines, on Cope’s Creek, I cannot say from personal knowledge, how they are doing :—Starkwood and Hunt, adjoining Ryder, Brothers; Regan and Clarke; Crittington and Tomlinson ; I have heard, however, that they are doing well.

The St. Helena.—This mine is at present at a standstill ; for what cause I cannot say ; but its proprietor, G. T. T. Butler, Esq., has started at the Ruby Vale, a tributary of the Araluen Vale Creek.

Snakes are indeed becoming a dangerous nuisance; we cannot burn them out, the grass is too fresh, and it seems impossible to get rid of them in any other way.

I have been just informed that a meeting is to be held at Bundarah Crossing of Cope’s Creek, in reference to the mining laws, &c, as applicable to tin mining, taking possession of ground, and the broad question of miners’ rights, &c. I shall endeavour to forward you some information on the matter.

I have heard that the young gentleman that was so severely injured a few weeks ago, at Elsmore (Mr. Moore from near Armidale) is progressing favourably towards recovery. It has been a source of great anxiety to his friends as it was a dangerous wound. I am glad to be able to chronicle his speedy recovery.

Cope’s Creek, Oct. 25.

Written by macalba

April 16, 2010 at 8:09 pm

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