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Crocodile Fields.

But if the Central district may boast of the richest gold mine yet discovered, so also must it plead guilty to producing the first duffer. Canoona was that duffer.

which in 1868 created a prejudice that only the breaking out of Qympie succeeded in dispelling. The, year 1866 taw Croco dile Creek supporting a population of up wards of 2000, and witnessed the opening out of the first reef in Queensland —the Hector. The place was essentially allu vial, however, and as such has proved highly remunerative, the gold being easily obtained, and found" in rich patches. Tn* same may be said of Morinish, Rldgeianda (£14,000 being obtained here in «. few months), and Rosewood. Mount Wheeler ft a place on the coast range about seven teen miles north-east «f Rockbattptoo. when to IMS gold was ftvnd to the hollow

spun of the mountain. This field was re markable for several things, notably the finding of one of the largest nuggets— 2470z. In weight. The find is thus related by an old resident :—" In a claim which one of the miners had pegged off near the top of one of the spurß of Mount Wheeler early one Sunday morning his little boy took up the father's pick to try if he could use It, and, standing Just within the bound aries of the claim, drove the pick into the black volcanic soil among the grass roots, and felt It stick, so that he could not lift It. They found the point of the pick sticking Into a weighty nugget of a value of about £1000. It was an oblong piece of pare gold. On the upper side it was dark where the black volcanic soil had covered It, but on .the other side it was of a bright yellow ; It appeared like a splash of -molten metal suddenly cooled when brought into contact with a cold, sur face." Among the strange discoveries made in this district v.as " a multocky leader," or decomposedi Jode, which was worked and treated like alluvial, being washed with the cradle. As this was sunk upon. It "petered out" until nothing remained but a clear, black' streak, which carried no gold. From Mount Wheeler the miners radiated In every direction, the result being the prospecting of the large Cawarral field, where some good reefs have been and still are being worked. New Zealand dully, close by, also furnished some excitement, and not a .little gold, which, however, in some cajfe* carried a high percentage of silver. THE TABLELAND. At present, however, Mount Morgan is the one feature of the district. Before it al' other discoveries have paled. But, then, fco also have the mines ttfßewhere, wMeh, though great in themselves, have neverthe less '.ocked small beside the golden mount. Still, It is satisfactory to know that the hitherto much neglected fields In its vicinity are again receiving some attention. Lodes which are belMvAd to be identical with those wolch have made Mount Morgan to lamous luvf been unearthed, nml ure now in prooeHs of development. In an article written 4.) me years ago by Mr. Jack, the formation of the tableland «vi rounding Mount Morgan was thus described :—"lt ib conii'OMJ'J of bluish-gray -quartzlteis—fln.< griined stliclous sandstones, more or less vitrified—full of, iainute crystals of iron pyrites, snfl specks of magnetio iron ore, graywiichA of the ordinary type, hard, fine fcralhtd sandstones of mingled silicious and felspathtc materials, occasional masses of ibalo bardeotd to a Wn./ consistency and •A' few belts of serpentine. The recent labours of Mr* Smith, of Rockhampton', have ' v brought to light la these rooks an abundant fauna of species which prove conclusively tsat they are part of the same series (Car bonifero-Permian) with the auriferous rocks of Gympie. The stratified rocks are intersected In every direction by dykes and other intrusive masses of dolerlte, rhyollte, and other Igneous rocks—the intrusive masses occupying apparently as much space as the remnant of the original stratified formation itself. This country rock is tra versed by reefs of the usual description, some of which, though not large, give a high yield of gold per ton. The upper portion of Mount Morgan consists of a de posit varying from red and brown haematite, on. the one hand, to a frothy, spongy, cellu lar siliclous sinter on the other. Fine gpld Is disseminated throughout the mass, but it varies considerably in thickness.. . The gold is the purest in the world, being absolutely free from silver. The mining operations are simply quarrying, and are consequently " inexpensive The,, atone is treated by ehlorination, and it appears that for years to aome the output depends simply on the amount of stot* thai can be put through the process." t . Referring in th* same article to the Rockhampton fields generally, Mr. Jack, wrote :—" The Crocodile- goldfield lies at the foot of the north-west escarpment of the tableland on which Mount Morgan is situated, and can hardly be more than from 100 ft. to 800 ft. above the sea level, on the heads of Qavlal Creek, which falls into Keppel Bay (thus proving, by.'fhf way, the falsity of an obstinate superstition among minors to the effect thai payable gold cannot be found on the east coast). This belief, or rather its logical inference, that any gold found on the east coast can not be payable, has exerted a powerful Im pressing Influence on all sorb shows'; .as miners could hard<y b» induced to give tbJm * trial. The prevailing eountr: rock: Is granite or syenite, .and in this are the Hector, Who'd-ha'-thdught-tt, Block and Pillar, Hit or film, and other reefs. The St Gothard and Bonansa are In altered stratified rocks—slates, graywackes, grits, and conglomeratcr—intersected by dlorite dykes. At the Rosewood.goldfleld, the Golden Bar reef Is composed for the most part of oalcspar and chlorite in pockets, and coating crystals of calcite. Sometimes there Is also a good deal of quartz, and crystalline pyrites occurs in films on the surface of the veins. Some very rich bunches of gold have been obtained in oalcspar veins in this mine. The reef oc ean in a diorite dyke, which Is mostly altered to chlorite. Rich bunches have also been obtained in the Caledonian reef, a large body of quarts with patches and pockets of chlorite, Intersecting highly altered sandstone country. At Blaekfel low's Gully three reefs, the Homeward Bound,. Carnarvon Castle, and Mary Flor ence, have been worked. At Morlnlsh the Welcome reef ha* been worked to a depth of over 360 ft. in a country rock of fine grained serpentineus graywacke. The reef la of quarts, with Iron pyrites, arsenical pyrites, a little galena, and a very little sincblende. . It has been worked for many yean with fair success. At New Zealand Gully Is the North Star mint, in porphyry country. At Cawarral th* Galawa, Annie, Helena, and Annie Halllday, In serpentine country, have yielded good returns." The great factor which may be said to operate against the rapid development of the various fields seems to be the admix ture of baser metals with the gold, and in this respect It wiH be observed from what has already (pen stated that Mount Morgan

stand* in a unique position. This difficulty is one which the capitalist is alone capable of overcoming. The judicious expenditure of a little money in erecting reduction works would doubtless be of incalculable benefit to the district, and not without profit to the Investors. During recent years very few discoveries of a startling character have been made, and the reason Is obvious ; but those that have been un earthed suggest the advisableness -of not only a studied but also a persistent search. In 1894, for instance, a new reef was found half-way between Mount Morgan and Bouldercombe, for which a reward claim was granted and named the Struck Oil. Other ground was at once pegged out, and ere long 200 miner* were at work along the line. The prospectors crushed 81 tons for a yield of 3620z. 7dwt. 15gr. The lode was in schist country, and underlay to the east at the rate of about lft. in Bft. The stone was a quartz impregnated with iron pyrites with copper stains. The width ot the reef was about 201n., but the walls were Bft. apart, the rubble between the; lode «nd both walls carrying much free gold. On the next claim, locally known as Monck ton's, a large mundlc lode *was cut at 50ft., with a width of 9ft. between the walls. These mines promised exceedingly well, for the crushing* were very rich, but the- diffi culty before spoken of —the refractory nature of the ores—has reoently militated against their further development. Other new reefs were opened .vp within a radius of three miles from the Struck Oil, all of which are most promising if the method of treating the stone could be improved. This improvement can be effected if capital is forthcoming. Indeed, it is believed that untold wealth lies under the surface in the Rockhampton district, but to> extract it necessitates investment—in no truer sense could the axiom " Money begets money" be used than in respect of the fields under review. . LAST YEAR ON CROCOMtK CR*tsK. Coming now to a study of the jGeturns for 1896, we find much that interests. Hi the first place there .has been a large Increase of settlement in and around Mount MArgan (where general progress is mirrored ii the many new and substantial business ant prl- > ■ vate houses now in course; of erection)*, and in the vicinity of Bou|d*rcpmbe.' Th<*. returns from Mount Morgan itself continue ■ to Increase. me quantity of stone treated during 1896 exceeded,:**? oftheprevious year by 16,141 ton* tte*W.an^th#.<>yWM of . gold was IS/NSoc. tfttwt, ariiUr.'.-.Tta*, fl**| section of toe nfcw reduction (forks. capcftTo of treating 2fm fjfSn per month, have bean completed, and Aft* nofr ir. full work, and the duplication ai tbeee jbf.nearing comple tion. As showing tb« progress of Mount Morgan practically since its discovery, the following semt-offloiak table will Wove in teresting. It it made up to 31st May, 1896, and, as will be teen from the headings, in dicates (he quantity of ore" chlorinated, the yield of gold, the average per ton, the pro ceed* from the sales of gold, the expendi ture, the stosk dividends paid, and the sum of the dividends oaid per share :—

Added to ibis, the mine Imm contributed no Imm an amount than £93,760 a« dividend duty, «nd £6154 in royalties. As to the other mine* on tfee Crocodile field, the lint which perhaps claims aueo tkm are those in the Immediate Ylclnlty of the mount—the Rockhampton Prospectors who are to the west of and adjoin the mount, the Mount Morgan North, and the Hidden Treamnte oh "the •outti. The management of the two latter at least as sume that the source of the gold obtained m the Mount Morgan mine w a large dyk« carrying to shoots and patches rich sul phide ores, and belieye that (bis dyke passes through their grounds. The Champion mine to a email concern, but it to one which promises well. During the year about 7% torn of atone hare yielded 60os. lldwt. Bgr. of fold. The reef Taries from 4ta. up to 181n. la thick ness. It la erfdeat here that energetic MMgWMDt should produce good results

80th Not., 1886 .. 81st May, 1887 .. 80th > ov , 1887 .. 81st May, 18>8: .. 30th for., 1888 .. 81stMa\,l»9 .. 80th Nov.. 1889 .. 3l8t May, 1890 .. 3*. h Nov., 1890 .. 8 st May, 1891 .. bOth Nov., 1891 .. 81 i May, 1862 .. 10th f- ov., 1*98 .. 81stM*y, 1808 .. 80tl Nov,lW8 .. Hist May, 1894 .. 80tbNoT^U94 .. 81st May, 1896 .. 80th . ov., 1*96 ., 81stMay,1896-,.

Hml'-year ended

loo*. et.qr. 6,440 0 0 6,681 8 0 8,740 6 0 8,500 14 0 19^00 8 0 8MS6 14- 0 88416 16 0 87.7W 6 0/ 87,847 18 6 •6J98 9 0 801*4 16 0 99,49i 18 0 «^24 1 9 40,162 0 0 42JW6 0 0 44J98 0 0 47^99 0 0

Ore Chlorinated.

, 88,650 IS 0 I : 46,164 tfr 0 . 46469 8 0 66J904 18 13 168^86 1 18 166, 66 18 0 108,793 6 0 .118,261 19 0 I 88380 9 0 I 68^22 19 0 i 60,978 18 0 ! 69,409 If • 60,49B 1 tt 60,760 4 18 67*70 W 0 61,678 1 0 62,280 17 0 . 67.810 14 0 78£S9 8 0

Yield of Gold.

Oz.4wi. gr. 5 6 98 6 6 0 4 11 19 4 4 IS I If » I 3 » 90 I 8 , 17 91 \ 9 1 10 I 1 19 10 1 17 9 1 19 U 1 IS 15 1 10 16 1 9 10 1 10 W 1 M 98 4 #*• ID

▲verafe yield per ton.

£ s. d. 78,. S3 1 6 I'9,695 9 6 1864)87 6 10 187,996 11 8 974^07 15 6 691,809 17 4 648£49 14 5 133,166 11 8 46*614 8 4 962,469 6 1 3583V 5 9 346JM 8 10 346£M 18 6 348,<<8U 19 0 3 0,789 16 10 388,311 6 0 366,716 9 7 267,618,11 11 378^Mle 6 800*68 18 9

Proceeds, from Gold.

99,145 9 i 61,386 15 8J 71,644 14 8 88,191 6 3 76/68 17 g ll£,i*3 11 7 109,547 8 1 96,740 10 7 98,838 13 8 111,188 6 7 97,161 16 7 91,896 6 7 97,884 13 t» 80,166 6 8 90,917 8 8 86,391 3 10 89^45 14 6 98,488 111 113,782 0 0 19S£08 8 9

Expenditure.

11 1(

' £ s. d. 88^88 6 8 1 100,000 0 0 100,000 0 0 425,0U. 0 0 576.000 0 0 535,000 0 0 841464 18 4 858,831 6 8 941,666 18 4 150,000 0 0 150,000 0 0 160000 0 0 160.000 0 0 150,060 0 0 160,000 0 0 154480 0 0 160,000 0 0 160,000 0 0 150,000 0 0

Total Dividends Paid.

£ B. d. 0 0 8 ••3 6 0 8 0 oat' 0 4 C Oil 6 0 10 6 0 6 II 0 7 2 0 4 10 0 8 0 0 8 0 0 8 0 0 8 0 0 8 0 0 8 0 0 8 0 0 8 0 0 8 0 0 8 ('

Dividen per share.

3 0

for 1% tow of atone for twelve months cannot be regarded a« * large output. The New Clanrlcaird is being opened up with more expedition. The mill having been renovated, crushing was commenced to September, einee which month (up to the tlmt December, 1896) 91 ton* were put through for a yield of 860*. ldwt 15gr. of gold. About four miles to the north-west of the New Clanricard. a party of working miners have initiated an experiment. They have shown their bona fides by erecting a two head . battery to crush the stone from a small group of claims, the most Important of which is, perhap3, the Dame Durden. Up to the present they have not had a crushing, but the stone is regarded as promising stuff. As has been indicated, the prospects on tho Struck Oil line, which appeared so satisfactory at the outset, are not now to roßy, from the fact that the stone is too re fractory for the ordinary method of traat raent. and capita! is required to substitute an improved method. The Day Dawn, which Is on the Razor back Range, between Struck OH and Bouldercoir.be, appears to have struck It rich, their crushing averaging nearly 3too*, to the ton. Good things are looked for from Mount Usher, where crushing machinery has been put up. In June laßt year the mine was floated In England, the men most promi nently connected with it being well-known gentlemen of good practical knowledge and of equally good standing. Mount Usher is on the Crocodile, about four and a-half miles distant, from Mount Morgan. The promoters declare they have tapped a net work of reefs, which they anticipate will junction at about 600 ft., or 200 ft. further than they had gone in December last. The crushings so far have gone 40z., but the true worth of the stone will be the more readily approximated when the fifteen head of stampers get to work, which will be very soon. The adjoining mine (the Oolden Cave) promises exceedingly well. A crush ing of 40 tons has yielded 120oz. of gold. The reef from which the crushing was taken was only discovered about June last. It is about 61n. in thickness, and Is worked from a tunnel. The stone treated during the year from ths whole of the mines on the Crocodile was 106,496 tons 3%cwt., which gave a gold return of 152,2880z. lOdwt llgr., or an aver age of loz. Bdwt. 14%gr. These figures show an increase in the stone crushed of 17,897 tons 9%cwt., and in the yield an ex cess of 19,15105. 9dwt. 4gr. on those of 1896. In addition to this wm, .->f rour»c, the alluvial, but the exact quantity ob tained from surface washings cannot be given with accuracy, because much of the precious metal is doubtless disposed of in Rockhampton, which is outside the Croco dile boundary. There has been a considerable Increase of population during 1896, the numbers being returned as : Europeans. 6440 ; and Chinese (gardeners. &c), 70 ; or a total of 6510. The particulars of the crushings will be found in the following table :—

Average per ton, los. Bdwt. 14ttgr. Commenting upon the prospects of the field, the warden offered, in his annual re port, the following observations :—" The coming year promises to be one of pro sperity. The additions which are being made to the reducing plant of the Mount Morgan Company will necessitate the em ployment of additional hands, and the con tinually increasing output must have a bene ficial effect on the district, while the build ing of the proposed railway from Kabra to Mount Morgan must also tend to increased business. Altogether the prospects for 1897 in this district are exceptionally good.

' MINING "SHOWS" NEAR GLADSTONE. . (1) Da'gy Bell Extended, Mount Rainbow. (2) Royal Bob P.C., with Hanry Otto, on* of the Prospectors of Mount Rainbow. (8) Shsit at the Boyal Bob P.O.

J Ifcance Ibampion >»jr Daws

60 0 II 0

i

84 11 1! 60 10 1! K U I

No. 1 east Block and Pillar 19 0. 10 ? 6 General Gordon >. 42,0 9fl 6 Qolden Cave 40 0 120 0 0 Golden Giant 14 0 5 6 11 Golden Spur 82 10. 82 14 0 Lady Lupton ...... 1 0 0 1112 Lushman 7 0' TOO Mount Elite 2 10. 19 0 Mount Morgan ..104,292 0 111,137 11 0 Mount Scott 7 0 212 0 Mount Usher 75 10 257 8 0 Concentrates. Mount Victoria .. 1,177 2 167 7 14 New Clanrlcard ... 91 • M 1 15 Phoenix 8 0 8 4 0 Queen of the Valley ■

p.c 14 10 10 18 0 Queen of the Valley No. 1 2 10 1 18 0 Struck OH pc 520, 0 220 17 0 No. 1 south-east Struck Oil 40 0 2 0 0 Wye and Biuhmell 7 0 2 7 12

Total

106.496

SH 152,888 10 1

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