theory of the engineer. Probably we are even now on the very eve of some great discovery, but at present few of the applications of machinery to gold mining have come up to the expectation of the projectors, although the extraction of gold from quartz is fast becoming an exact science.
A description of tram rails which have been
long used in England, and which are, as saving much labour, a decided improvement on the old-fashioned ironed quartering, is coming into use, and a Mr. Geelen has patented a "Total Gold Saving Table." This is, however, but a combination of the various methods previously in use, and consists of plain ripples, quicksilver ripples, copper ripples, and a shaking table; the only novelty in the invention is the introduction of a copper roller and a blanked covered roller revolving rapidly on the surface of the stream and against its course. The object of these is to pick up any "floaters" which may be carried off by the rush of water.
The Clunes Quartz Mining Company have
published their half yearly report, showing the total value of gold raised during the past six months as £35,522. The quantity of quartz crushed has ben 14,073 tons, yielding 9051 oz. 81 dwt of gold, making the average yield per ton 12 dwt 21 gr. The greater portion of the quartz treated was raised from the southern or poorer end of the claim, which accounts for the deficiency as compared with the previous half-yearly return.
As a very good example for home readers of
the cost and labour expended in the alluvial deep sinkings of Ballaarat before any [??] are obtainable, a few statistics, which we extract from the Ballaarat Times, of the Band of Hope Company, may be interesting. The shaft was commenced in June 1857 and is now down 230 feet, with the expectation of having to sink at least to a depth of 450 feet; the sinking is still through the rock, and is done by contract of £16 per foot. The outlay has up to the present time been upwards of £17,000, of course including cost of machinery,and probably another £8,000 or £10,000 will have to be expended before bottoming. Even then the gutter has to be driven for; however, the previous borings of the company lend them to believe that this cannot be at any very great distance. When once gained, the Company's fortunes are tolerably secure, as they hold 3748 feet of the gutter, and the last claim or two have been considerably richer in yield than those before them.
There has been no rush of much importance
during the month, except to the neighbourhood of Kingower, where a paddock belonging to the Rev. Mr Hall, a settler in the neighbourhood, has turned out to be highly auriferous.
JOURNAL OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY.
The extension of the Suburban Railway from
Cremorne to the Chapel Street Station of the St Kilda and Brighton Railway is now completed, and will be opened for traffic in a day or two. The new line will prove a great convenience to the inhabitants of South Yarra, Prahran, Elsternwick, and East St. Kilda.
The Government Railways are being rapidly
proceeded with, and it is expected that the Mount Alexander line will be opened for traffic as far as Gisborne, nearly half way to Castlemaine, by the 1st proximo. The Geelong and Ballaarat line is nearly finished, with the exception of some heavy works near Ballaarat, and the viaduct over the river Moorabool. But for these obstacles this railway might be opened on the 1st July, but the contractors expect to have trains running from Geelong to Ballaarat by the 1st December, 1861.
The inhabitants of the various gold-fields in
the neighbourhood of Maryborough are taking active steps to have the advantages of railway communication extended to their district, but we fear the heavy cost of the railways at present being constructed will prevent the expenditure of any more of the public money towards this end.
Businesses may be said to have assumed a
firmer aspect during the month; the cloud of depression which was for some time hanging over us appears to have been dispelled, and our commercial men are beginning to realize that they will have better prospects for the future. During the past week little or nothing has been doing, every one appearing to be holiday bent; but the near approach of Christmas will no doubt tend to make matter somewhat more brisk, especially when the summer orders are received from up country storekeepers. In consequence of the large number of arrivals from San Francisco, the flour market has ben unsettled, and Adelaide brands are now offering at £16 5s. to £17. Bulk and bottled ales have been enquired after, and Bass's No. 3 is quoted at £8 to £8 5s. In liquors there is little change to notice, Martell's brandy has been selling at 11s. 6d., and Hennessy's at 25s. in case. Summer wines have been somewhat enquired after, but little or no improvement has taken place in the prices. Candles have been in moderate demand, and sales of Belmonts have been effected at 1s. 3d. to 1s. 3 1/2 d., and Neva stearines at 1s. 5d. Butter still remains at 113d. to 1s., but little has been done. Cheese has been more in demand, and prices have improved in consequence. There has been a moderate amount of business done in the provision markets, and hams and bacon of first-class quality sell freely. The stock of teas has been considerably increased by the large arrivals from China. Several vessels have come in to port nearly simultaneously, but notwithstanding prices have not been materially altered, although there is an indisposition on the part of buyers to come forward and purchase in the face of such heavy shipments. Mauritius sugars, according to the last quotations, have advanced about £1 a ton. A market improvement has taking place in the timber trade.
An average amount of business has been
transacted in the Share Market, and several of the mining companies have held their meetings. The sixth ordinary meeting of the Bendigo Valley Company was held on the 22nd of November, and the report of the directors then submitted was adopted. The works were all completed, and within the next two months satisfactory results were expected. A meeting of the Maryborough Mining Company was held on the 30th of November, when a committee was appointed to enquire into the working of the company. On the 6th December, the adjourned meeting was held, and the committee brought up their report, wherein they strongly recommended retrenchment, as the works which were unfinished were being very expensively carried on, and the company was largely in debt. A meeting of the Bagshot Company was held on the 8th inst., when it was unanimously resolved to take the necessary steps to wind up the company. At an extraordinary meeting of the St. Kilda and Brighton Railway, held on the 22nd of November, the directors were authorised to take steps to increase the capital of the company to the extend of £45,000 for the purpose of extending the line from the present terminus in Bay Street to the Brighton beach.
A special meeting of the Colonial Insurance
Company was held on 24th November, when the directors were authorised to forthwith commence the Life and Guarantee business.
At the half-yearly meeting of the Hobson's
Bay Railway Company, held on 4th December, a dividend of 10 per cent. was declared; and the directors were authorised to appropriate a portion of the reserve fund, not exceeding £20,000, in the purchase of the company's debentures as they fall due.
The following vessels have arrived from
British and foreign ports since the 20th November. Nov. 21––Bershire, from Tome; Helvetin, from Hong Kong; Empress of the Seas, from Liverpool. 24––Ca[?], from Mauritius; Calliance, from London; Lord Baglan, form Liverpool; Belle of the West, from Boston; Chatillon, from Calcutta. 25––Kleber, from San Francisco; Gazehound, from Foo-Chow-Foo; Hermine and Emma, from Tome; Southhampton, from London; Copenhagen, from Plymouth; Conradine Lackman, from Foo-Chow-Foo. 26––Eagle, from Liverpool; Sarah H. Snow, from New York. 27––Southern Eagle, from New York; Olympia, from Manilla; Undaunted, from London. 28––Morning Star, from London. 29––Gold Eagle, from Foo-Chow-Foo. Dec. 1––What Cheer, from San Francisco; Gazelle, from Foo-Chow-Foo; Locket, from San Francisco. 4––Pekin, from Amsterdam. 7––Ella A. Clark, from London.
The following vessels have departed for
British and foreign ports since the 20th of November. Nov. 22––Cosmopolite, for Batavia; Planter, for Mauritius; Ellen, for Mauritius. 23––Ida Marian de Baoth, for Batavia. 26––Salsette, R.M.S. for Point de Galle. 27–– Champion of the Seas, for Liverpool; Bold Hunter, for Calcutta. 28––Sea Star, for London (from Geelong). 30––Hebe, for London; Camilla, for Guam. Dec. 1––Western Chief, for Callao; Rising Sun, for Callao; Lodore, for Point de Galle. 5––Lincolnshire, for London; Moravian, for London. 6––Trave, for Callao; Union, for Guam. 7––Kronprinsen, for Guam; Ydale, for London.
THE NEW ZEALAND WAR.