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The Dungowan Copper Find.

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Saturday 10 December 1881, The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser

(Tamworth News of Tuesday.)

Since the decadence of the “golden days” of Bowling Alley Point, Nundle, Banking Bock, and other well-known auriferous places on and near the banks of the Peel River, enterprise in the direction of searching for minerals has been exceedingly limited, although it is well known that the ranges which wall in the valley of the Peel contain many varieties of useful minerals. Locally, this is not surprising, and can be easily accounted for. Some seven or eight years ago, several of our local moneyed men invested their all in an endeavour to wrest from the bowels of the earth the golden treasures they held concealed, and too many of them lost much in the venture. Somehow, the valley of the Peel has not for many years been at all a popular field with metropolitan speculators, notwithstanding that its resources have been amply written up by the local press from time to time. A good deal of this indifference we attribute to the lack of easy communication with the principal commercial centres ; but more, perhaps, may be charged to the panic and ruin to hundreds which succeeded the mining mania of 1872-4. Again, the laws relating to mining have never yet, nor are they now, encouraging to legitimate mining. But, from whatever cause, the fact remains, as stated above, that for half-a-score of years past, little has been done in the direction of developing the Peel River field. It is true, a few sturdy and persevering white miners still plod on about Nundle, Mount Misery, and “the Rock;” but the greater number engaged in the search for gold are miserable looking Chinese, with sluice ground repeatedly worked before; and there seems to be but little prospect of a change. It is possible the recent finds of marble and copper and other minerals, may again stimulate search and enterprise; but we are not sanguine on the subject. We have heretofore given some particulars regarding the marble quarry found up Moonby way ; as well as a few particulars in reference to the discovery of copper at Dungowan, on Mr. James Fisher’s selection. The samples of ore, with the results of the smelting of the same, were sufficient to induce a few Tamworth gentlemen to purchase a lease of the ground for a good sum, and a small company has been formed. Some preliminary work has been done, and from personal observation we can state that some seven or eight tons of excellent-looking stone are now at grass. The trial shaft is only down as yet about six feet, but the quality of the ore appears to improve. The lode, which has been traced positively for a hundred yards, is situated near to the top of a spur which springs from the main range, forming part of the eastern watershed of the Peel, and is distant about half-a-mile back from Mr. Fisher’s house at Dungowan. Only a few hands are employed at present, preparing the way for a vigorous prosecution of the work as early as possible. There is every facility for getting the ore down to the road level below, where it can easily be loaded. There is some talk of another lode running parallel to but lower than the lode in question ; but we lack authentic information on the subject. We hope, with all well-wishers of the district, the speculators who have set about working the copper deposit at Dungowan may be amply rewarded ; and thus stimulate mining enterprise once more in this neighbourhood.

Written by macalba

May 14, 2010 at 8:07 pm

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