Mining Enterprise for the Million.
[The writer of the following paper headed it "Mem. for Squatters," but the subject is one worthy wider consideration.]
WHILE cattle owners should steadily turn their
attention to the English market, it appears to me that they should also take up the long-neglected question as to whether they cannot establish
question colonies of customers in Queensland by encourag ing mining enterprise. A late newspaper artiole insisted that the present great national want was a new goldfield. I should rather say that we want the development of our known metal fields. The coast squatters would be particularly bene fited by the establishment of local markets, and they are in the best position to study the feaai< bility of pushing on the rarious discoveries of metals around them. They would receive good help from the leading people of the towns, who are ready enough to speculate, but are generally unable to undertake the travelling and local supervision which the bueolio Centaurs could accomplish. Writing from the Rockbampton district, I would ask those who are not simply content with sighing over the prevailing death in life to look over your special reporter's account of our goldfields, and then to ponder whether a little enterpiise might not go a long way in in- augurating three or four centres of population, around which agriculture and manufacture would necessarily spring. The days of pioneering squat- ting are nearly over, and the adventurous men of the future will naturally fall on to the metal fields. Fifty years hence the "pore man " cry will be not against the silver-tails but against the gold bags. But couldn't the present genera- tion anticipate a little? Things of this kind only want a commencement. Suppose that a soiety should be formed in Rockhampton to en- quire into the state of the metal fields in the district. The gold warden could furnish an in- teresting paper from the statistics and records of his office, as well as from the reports of Go- vernment geologists. Then members of the society could give the results of their personal knowledge and inspection of the fields in their neighborhoods, and many commercial residents of the town oould throw light on the financial part of the question and detail past experience. I am confident that a collated knowledge of facts in respect to these fields would speedily result in the renewal of enterprise. In Brisbane you might well establish a society to encourage mining. It is a reproach that hitherto this great national industry, already more financially important than the pure merino business, has been left to the sole care of the struggling miner and storekeeper. The first paper I should like to see put before such a society would be on the principles that should govern mining adventure. A judge lately de- clared that a Brisbane official could not possibly know anything of mining. His Honor might as well have laid down that no one but a sailor, ought to be a shipowner. Differing from the Court above, I hold that any intelligent man who has mastered the general principles of "Lyell's Student's Geology " will be competent to form an opinion of mining adventure. As a matter of fact, successful mineowners are seldom pro- fessional miners. On first coming to the colony I was completely taken in by assuming that men who had long worked in mines were acquainted with the principles that should govern mining adventure. Briefly the facts of the matter are— Ist. That mining is the most financially certain of all human industries if conduoted on the prin ciples which govern the operations of insurance companies—that is, by relying on the general average resulting from a sufficiently wide basis of phenomena. 2nd. That a metalliferous lode is an aqueous solution deposited in a crack in the earth's crust. 3rd. That where a notable quantity of metal or ore is found in a lode existing in a large crack resulting from a geologic "fault" there is a cer- tainty of such lode paying at least its working expenses if worked long enough. 4th. That a short exploration of a lode is a gambling transaction. The very first and best thing which such a society could do would be to offer prizes for the best two essays on the principles that should govern gold, copper, and tin mining adventure. Aided by the Treasury milch cow we might thus obtain from England and California information that would be invaluable to Queensland the Me- tallic. Rosewood.
A supplement to the Oovernmcnt Gazette wat published on Saturday last releasing from quarantine, at Cooktown, the steamer L'Allier, together with her passengers and crew, it having been reported that there does not now exist any ontagioiiß disease amongst them. i uk amount deposited at the usual fortnightly in.■••ling of the Wharf-street Penny Savings bank on Saturday last was £% Is. 3d,