GEOLOGIGAL SURVEY. WORK OF THE DEPARTMENT. THE NEW BUILDING. Western, Australia, with its vast ex- panse of territory and varied mineral wealth, has much need of a highly effi- cient geological survey staff. Besides the possession of officers of the best scientific attainment, an important fac- tor in securing this high efficiency is building accommodation. The sphere of the Department's usefulness is not cir- cumscribed by the completion of its re- ports. These reports only reach their to fullest value when they are examined in conjunction with maps and specimens; and a museum, therefore, where these maps and specimens may be inspected is a necessary adjunct to the offices of the geological survey. In the annual re- ports of the Government Geologist for a number of years past reference has been made to the inadequacy of the office and museum accommodation provided for the Department. Repeated repre- sentations were made to the Government with reference to the matter, and during the last session of Parliament a sum of money was voted by the Legislature to provide the necessary office and museum accommodation in the new wing to the State Museum in Beaufort-street. In due course this building, which is situat- ed at the corner of Beaufort-street and Francis-street, was completed, and in the early part of this year the Government Geologist and his staff took possession. On entering the building from Beau- fort-street the visitor finds himself in a large-vestibule, from which access is ob- tained to the rooms of the Government Geologist and his clerk and the work- room, where the exhibits are prepared. in the vestibule it is intended to place several of the large upright show cases which were on exhibition at Paris and Glasgow. In these will be shown models of a number of the nuggets found in dif- ferent parts of the State, of which the Geological Department has a collec- tion. The workroom, which opens out on the vestibule, is a well-stocked compartment with an atmosphere of industry. All the exhibits are received here; and are regis- tered, trimmed, tested, and arranged for exhibition. From here, also, the ex- changes to different museums and schools of mines are despatched. The absence of a room like this in the premises in St. George's terrace previously occupied by the Department very materially inter- fered with the work of the officers. The inconvenience thus created was not con- fined to the staff, but extended to the public frequenting the office. It may be here mentioned that there is internal communication between all the offices in the building, an official in passing from one to another not having to appear in the public corridor. Above the room oc- cupied by the clerk to the Government Geologist is the storeroom, in which all the reports as well as the maps issued by the Department are kept. Adjoining the storeroom is a general office, where the officials of the Department find ac- commodation to perform the necessary office work following, perhaps, upon an extended period of field work. A third room upon, the second floor is the draughting-room. This compartment is commodious and well lighted. The work of preparing the maps and other draughting operations are carried on here. A collection of the various plans is stored in the draughting-room. THE MUSEUM. The museum attached to the Depart- ment occupies the top storey of the build- ing. The idea which has been followed in the arrangement of the collection is to exhibit the material acquired in illustra- tion of the work of the Department, par- ricularly on its economic side. With the exception of the collection of economical products, the exhibits are entirely limit- ed to illustrating features of Western Australia. It is contemplated, when the necessary show cases are available mak- ing the arrangement of the collection such as will be best suited to the needs of the miner and the prospector and to practical mining men generally. In other words, the museum will comprise a collection of economic geological pro- ducts, in this respect approaching the museum of practical geology attached to the office of the geological survey of Great Britain. When the arrangement of the museum is finallycompleted all the specimens will be dressed to a standard size. By this means a considerable saving in space -a very important matter in a museum --will be brought about. The museum, as already stated, is on the top floor of the building. This, however, is merely a temporary arrangement. It is intend- ed, when the connection between the State Museum and the building occupied by the geological survey staff is complet- ed, that all the national geological and mineralogical specimens will be under one roof, and exhibited in juxtaposition,
as they should always be. The Govern- ment Geologist has impressed upon the Government for some time past that Perth is too small to support several museums, as is. he case in many of the capital cities in the East, and that it is far better, not only for the general pub- lic, but also for the scientific staff, that all the national scientific collections, as well as the offices of those engaged in scientific work, should be in close proxi- mity. The walls of the museum are adorned with all the maps issued by the Depart- ment, in addition to some which are of considerable historical interest. On the walls are manuscript copies of the first three geological maps issued of Western Australia. They are the work of Dr. Ferdinand Von Summer, and are dated 1848-9. These were the first geological maps produced in Australia. Western Australia, it may be added, was the first of the Australian States to employ a Gov- ernment geologist, and she was also the scene of the earliest mining operations on the continent, copper and lead having been mined at Northampton in 1842. The country mapped by Dr. Von Summer in his three maps was as follows:-(1) From Pallingup or Cape Riche, to York; (2) from King George's Sound to Perth; (3) from Perth to Northampton, Other maps displayed upon the walls are -The map of the Messrs. Gregory, published in London (1860):.that of Mr. H. L. Y. Brown, Government Geologist (1870-2); and a map of the Kimberley district, by Mr. E. T. Hardman (1883-4). The col- lection of the Department comprises over 4,500, exhibits, but only one half of the floor space in the museum is occupied, the absence of funds delaying the erec- tion of other show cases. For not one- fourth of the material which should be on exhibition has the Department space available. Since the Department took possession of their new building there have been a great many visitors. The first place visited by anyone coming to a State in search of information as to the country and its natural resources is the Museum. There they should find not only the information of which they are in search, but also those scientific officers who can supply all requisite details. These requirements are fulfilled by the Department of Geological Survey. There is, it is worthy of remark, no duplication of exhibits in the present Museum and that attached to the office of the Govern- ment Geologist, the latter aiming rather at the economic than the strictly scienti- fic side. A GEOLOGICAL HANDBOOK. A handbook upon economic mineralogy and geology is to be prepared. This will serve to illustrate the collection which has been acquired by the Department. It will, at the same time, be something more than a descriptive catalogue. It will be written in an interesting form, and will be of service in the higher classes of the State schools, and may also be rised as a textbook in the mining schools. It
will be endeavoured to present in this, book a readable account of the various commercial products which are derived from minerals. It is hoped that the work will be available very shortly. THE GOVERNMENT GEOLOGIST AND NORTH COOLGARDIE. INTERESTING TO PROSPECTORS. The Government Geologist (Mr. Gibb Maitland) recently returned from a visit to the North Coolgardie goldfield, where he examined the country between Edju- dina and Yundamindera, better known as the "Granites." Mr. Maitland, who is now preparing a report upon his visit, in- forms us that, taking the country tra- versed as a whole, it seems to him that it should have somewhat more attention at the hands of prospectors than has hither- to been given to it. There is, he says, good reason to believe that the country between Edjudina and Camel Back Soaks is the southern extension of the belt comprising the Westralia Mount Mor- gans mine. How much further north that extends is a problem which has yet to be solved by the geological staff. MINING AT MOUNT MAGNET. At the latter end of last year, at the request of the residents of Mount Mag- net and Boogardie, a geological exami- nation of that country was undertaken by the assistant geologist Mr. Gibson. His report, with explanatory maps, has now been completed, and will be forward- ed to the printer very shortly. The ex- anmination of the district has brought out several important facts which, it is said, cannot but be of the utmost service to those engaged in mining operations, not only in the Mount Magnet district, but in other portions of the Murchison dis- trict. The same belt of auriferous coun- try extends a considerable distance to the south, and there seems reason to believe that it is co-terminous with that embrac- ing the Field's Find neighbourhood, on the south and the island at Lake Austin' and Cue. VISIT TO PILBARRA. AN OVERLAND JOURNEY. The Government Geologist is on the eve of leaving on an extended tour of the Pilbarra district. Instructions were is- sued in regard to this trip towards the close of last year, but owing to the time of the Government Geologist being occu- pied by his duties in other parts of the State, it has not been possible for him to undertake the journey earlier. Mr. Maitland's field assistant, Mr. Talbot, and an expert bushman left for Port Hedland in the s.s. Minilya last Wednes- day with the camp equipment and other paraphernalia, and they will wait Mr. Maitland's arrival at the Port. In ac- cordance with his instructibns, Mr. Mait- land will devote particular attention to the question of assisting mining opera- tions at Pilbarra by railway facilities. It is proposed to visit every mining centre in the district, as no official geological report on it has been obtained for at least ten years. Havin completed his work at Pilbarra, Mr. Maitland has been di- rected to return, if possible, by way of Ashburton and Peak Hill, and to inquire into several matters on these fields. This overland journey will afford an opportu- nity for clearing up a great many points in connection with the extension of the auriferous belts of the Murchison dis- trict. y g . THE ULARRING DISTRICT. The assistant geologist, Mr. Gibson, y left Perth last week for the North Cool. n gardie .goldfield, where he will examine d the Ularring district; about which there e is very little authentic geological infor 5 mation. "r THE GOLDEN MILE." is' The geological map and sections of the Boulder belt will be handed to the litho graphers in a few days. This plan, which _has been in preparation for a considerable .- time, and which has involved no small d amount of labour in compilation, con o tains all the underground workings on the Golden Mile brought up to date, in addition to such other subsidiary infor mation as will render is of the utmost 1lvalue, not only to the mining community. - but to the public generally. e AURIt'EROUS REEFS OF CUE AND k- DAY DAWN. Df Towards the close of last year Mr. 'W. :oD Campbell, Assistant Government Geo jn logist, visited qCie in connection with se the boring proposals. During his visit o- the opportunity was taken to enlarge the 1Q Department's ktiowledge of the resources to of the district. A report, accompanied of by an explanatory' map upon the aurife rons reefs of Cue ahd Day Dawn, has n been prepared, and will be available to Sthe public in a few days.