TIN AND TIN MINES.
THE following, from the San Francisco News Letter, will be read with considerable interest:— There is scarcely any metal which serves as raw material to so many skilled manufacturers
aa tm; and the variety of uses to which it is put seems endless. England has for many yeara reaped rich returns from the tin depoeits on ita south-western ooast, and at one time the world depended upon Cornwall for its supply of tin. This metal, ot ra her the deposits of ore from which the metal comes, are ao few and rare that for many yeara past the tin trade of the world has been in the hands and under the control of a few men. No metal has been more eagerly sought after the world over* aad of late years especially, for the consumption is enormously on tbe inorease, while the supply seems to be singularly uniform and regular. High prioes, still tending upward as a consequence, rule the market, aad will as long as the supply does not keep pace with the demand. Cornwall still yields large quantities of tin stuff, but it comes from great depths in mines expensive to work. The surface of that great tin bearing formation has seemingly been worked out, and although scores of mines are worked from Devon to Land's End, it is hard work and email profits for many companies, and the day is not far distant when M calls" wOl necessarily compel mines to olose that have been worked continuously ainoe the laat century, and which have in former yean earned and ex pended millions of pounds sterling, dividing many fortunes among many shareholden, after providing for thousands of families, and paying -urge royalties to the Duke of Cornwall. A viait through Cornwall at the present time will exhibit thousands of chimneys, many fret high, looming up in all directions like a great forest silent monuments of mines worked out, and busy life long past, never more to lend their aid in adding to the material wealth of the world. That Cornwall ia becoming exhausted, so far as her tin deposits aro concerned, seems obvious, when one looks back, say thirty vsare, and notes what that country then produoed, and compares the yean previous to 1840 with those ainee, up to the present time. The Bottallock mine, situated near the Land's End, has been worked continuously sinoe the last century. Ita lower level is over 1600 feet below the aurfaoe, vertical depth, while the in cline to reach that level is 3000 feet long, and extends for most of that distance out and under the aea. Very Uttle metal of any kind is found at thia extreme level; moet of the ore raised in late years came from the upper workings. The average yield of tin ore from one ton of tin atone, of thia mine, is about forty pounds, or less than 2 per cent, metal. They run all their machinery by ateam power, and are compelled, for concentrating pur poses (aa are most of the mines in Cornwall), to use the water pumped from the mines, and when the water is limited it is used over several times, in faot continuously, until it is exhausted by evaporation and other causes beyond control. Near to the north of the Bottallock is the Le vant mine; it is worked to a depth ol 1800 to it, and furnishes ore that yielda on an average about 2f per cent. The Levant reduction works illuatrate very satisfactorily how cheap ia the separation of tin ores after they are onoe mined, for they are working over an old dump-pile of waste rock that has been accumulating for many yean, which by assay yields less than 1 per cent, of tin stuff; this, of course, oan only be done under the existing high price of tin aod the low rate of Cornith labor. The Dolooth mine of Camborne is worked to a depth of 1800 feet, and yields 2 per cent. ores. They work tailinga here that only yield five pounds of tin stuff to 2000 pounds of ore. They re duce about 1000 tons ot tin stone per week with 184 stampt, 1000 tons yielding about twenty tons of tin stuff ready for smelting, and some copper. The Phoenix mine, near Litkeard, is one of the most successfully worked tin mines in England, and ia under the afcle management of Mr. West, who is a large shareholder in the enterprise; the property ia valued at about 1,250,000 dollan; it ia worked about 1500 feet deep, and was once a copper mine, but at depth changed to tin, although considerable oopper is extracted from tbe mine monthly. One thou sand tone of the ore from this mine yields about twenty tons of block tin, or about 1 per cent., and aome copper. There are about 1000 people employed here, and the enterpriae paya satisfac tory dividends. The average yield ia tin metal, of thirty-five of the principal mines of England, amounts to less than 2 per cent. The consump tion of tin being enormously on the increase, and the supply limited, it seems to be a fact that unless some new and permanent deposits of that ore are diacovered and successfully worked, pig tin wUI toon reach a point in the toale of pricea that wUI make OU. r ,to£ of kftehenware Mticlet of great value. The high figure that tin has touched in London lately ia attracting com iderable atten tion among tin metal men and extensive con sumers of that metal, both here and abroad. Where is it to come from ? has elicited a sudden and ready reply from our extraordinary mineral country. Since there appears to be a require ment for tin ore in larger quantities than the JCngliah and other known mines can produoe, California comes to the reacue! and her indefa tigable tons having overhauled her retoureei, at laat, from the lower portion of the State, they exposed to light what appean to be a moit remarkable depotit of tin—remarkable both in extent and richness. We have seen the ore, metal extracted from it, and tin plate made of it that cannot be surpassed in appearance, and, we are assured by experts, that in quaUty it is equal to the "Straits/the most valued tin on the Enghth market. We refer to the deposit in the Te-nescal range of mountain!, in San Bernardino County. The company who have control of thit have worked the mines to a depth of over one hundred feet, and opened tunnels on the vein aggregating over 1100 feet in length, ex posing a body of ore that Cornish miners say hae no superior in Cornwall or in the world. The importance of this discovery to our State, in fact to the whole of the United Statee, if not to the world, oan hardly be eeti* i
mated. The prospects are that this dueovery Wl5 STS empl.°7mM-t t° thoutands of meZ and that there will soon be an end to the m. portation of ten million doUart worth of tin yearly, upon which we pay fi ftMn dutiei. Thit w,U revolutionize the tiiTtrade of the world. Besides our own Urge consumption. China uses a muoh larger amount, as tin ii there used m vast quantities iv the manufacture of ornaments and gilt figures, with which they celebrate their holidays, and which are in a great meature deitroyed by fire, thut re-creatin-** demand. The preient oompany is composed of careful nen, and they will undoubtedly work the property (which they have, by a liberal ex penditure, developed and proved to be of im. mense value) in a manner that will at an early day prove beneficial to all parties concerned, owner. and oonsumen. Tin for the latt fifteen veara haa atood in price upon the London market at an average of £120 per ton. By the lateat metal report from Lewi, and Sont, of Liver pool, dated December 1,1871, "Straitt" waa quoted at £156, a large business doing, and pnoes tending upwards.
Thb City of Brisbane, s., which left for Sid ney with tbe Engliah mail on Nov. 30, took 1953 bagt of tin ore, weighing 80 tont 17 owt 2 qrs. This is the largest shipment of tin on yet forwarded to Sydney. Labt week's letten from Mount Clara state (the Wide Bay News aays) that tbe furnace ba boon working continuouily and satisfactorily, and that over two tons of clean oopper were ready to be sent to town. Notwithstanding the advanoe of liipenoe per ton offered to the earten by the manager of the Peak Downs Mine (says the Peak Downs Telegram ot November 16), it has turned out that very few of them are able to keep at work. Out of aome fifty teams, more than thirty have knocked off for the present, and the oonsequeneo it there are only four or five furnaces at work. This, of oourse, throwi a good many men out of employment, but we hear all who choose will be employed in making a large reser voir in the company*! paddock. They oould not be better engaged, and it will be quite aa cheap for the company to employ them on inch a work, as to let them go and hare to import others by-and-bye. Work underground willfo on as usual. Labt week (says the Borthern Argus, No vember 20) the Governor Blackall, steamer, arrived at Gladstone from Sydney, chiefly tot the purpose of landing about fifty tons of cargo for the Blackall mine. It eonsiited of an iron tramway, a great variety of tools, and stock el iron, steel, and general stores, upon whioh, we undentand, ad valorem duties were paid to the value of £2000. Wo learn by the declarations made at the registration of the oompany, that of the £25,000 paid by Mr. Vickery for one half of the mine, £8500 went to the original proprieton, and £16,600 was to be entirely de voted to the starting of the mine. If this large sum is judiciously expended, we shall have another Peak Downs property olose at hand, and even already there has sprung up arouxd the Blackall a village of three or four bundrJi inhabitants—in faot, the germ of another CoflP" perfield—who are already candidate! tor a-poafc* offioe for themselves, and all the othsr ma chinery of civilisation. In the Talbot Tribute Company's claim. Rocky Flat (Viotoria), a large tree has bean found in the washdirt drive about 800 feet from the bottom of the drive. The TaVbot Leader itates that every part of the tree wee perfect and in a oapital state of preservation. Particulars are given in the Pastoral Times of a fatal steamboat accident near Menindie, on the Darling River. The steamer Providence, when steaming down the river laden with wool, on the 9th ultimo, was blown into fragments by tbe bursting of the boiler—four men were killed and another blown into the air, his leg being broken in the fall. We append the report of the magisterial enquiry on the body of the engineer, Edward Sparkes, aged fifty years, which was forwarded from Menindie to Denili- quin Police Station. The enquiry was held at Kinchiga station, Darling Biver, by J. Mair, Esq., P.M., on the 11th November, the verdiot being that deceased was killed by the bursting of the boiler on board the steamer Providence :— " The steamer Providence (Captain John Davis) left Menindie on the 9th instant, loaded with wool, and towing a barge also loaded with wool, for Adelaide. There were six men on board the steamer and two men and a boy in the barge. When about nine miles down the river from Menindie the captain was heard to say, * Stop her,' which was done (something being amiss with the paddles). He then called out, * One stroke ahead,' and immediately afterwards. ' Stop her'—but be scarcely uttered the last expression when the boiler burst, and the steamer was blown into fragments. The cap- tain (Mr. Davis), E. Sparkes (engineer), John. Roaoh (fireman), and Thomas Gunn, Chinaman (cook), were killed. Charles Seymour was thrown a considerable distanoe into the air and fell into tbe river, receiving no injury but a broken leg. Another man named Trevenoak (?), who was in the cabin, esoaped unhurt. Signed—H. J. Fairhead, constable. Those in the barge were not injured. The bodies of Sparkes and tbe Chinaman havo been recovered, the latter much mutilated; the other two have not been recovered yet. Portions of the boiler were cast a considerable distance on to the land. It is the general opinion that the aoeident was caused by tbe engineer putting cold water into the boiler while it was empty and much heated." The Providence belonged to Messrs. White, Counsell, and Co. Thb following remarks by the Ballarat Star have some application to the case of Queens- land, as well as to Victoria :—" The annual re port upon the Government rail way t has just oesn laid before Parliament, and is considered, upon the whole, to be a very cheering document. The reoeipts for the past year are atated to bo £637,632, and the expenditure £279,808, leav ing a balanoe of £367,829. The amount of interest payable yearly is £621,740, which, deducting the revenue, leaves a balanoe against the oolony of £268,911, or 247 per cent. It will be seen tbat if the exitting railwaya had been constructed at a reasonable cott they would hare yielded a large profit to the State. It ia thought that when the linet now exitting and near completion thall be open, that the total revenue will be equal to 4 per oent. upon the capital, which will leave the oolony nearly 2 pet cent, to pay upon the loans raised for railway purposes. This, however, does not show the true state of the oase, and it is rather dif ficult to find out what is the true position of the railways. Tbe amount given at revenue is that which remains after all expenses have been paid, and very great care is taken to keep the whole of the rolling stock aud lines in thorough repair. We believe that as muoh is done as oan be to conserve the railways and the plant, and so make everything last as long as possible. It is, however, evident that rails, carriages, and en gines will not last for ever. A stocking, we are told, may be darned until nothing of the origi nal fabric remains, but the feat is not possible with an engine or a rail. Evidently, the time must come when the whole of the rolling stook will be worn out, and oannot be repaired. Now. the defect in all thete railway statistics is this, that nothing is said about a renewal fund. In Europe, all the railway companies set aside a certain proportion of their profits eaoh year, in order te provide a fund for the renewal of the lines and the rolling stook, and, of coune, thia sum is deducted from the annual balanoe. In this colony nothing of the kind bat been done. Year after year tbe public it told that the rail way! are paying ao much, when the fact is that something considerably less than the profit shown mutt be the true ttate of the case. Thia subject was mooted some five or six years ago, wben the Engineer-in-Chief pointed out that the returns were not accurate, but nothing haa been done since, nor does it appear as if any thing wfll be. Yet, the time oannot now be very distant when a large expense will have to be inourred for tbe renewal of stook, when a very considerable deduotion will hare to be made from the apparent profit aa now stated* Perhaps some member of Parliament of an enquiring turn will ask for information on the subject. It is desirable to know how muoh longer the preient rolling ttook and rails will last, and what is the annual rate of depreciation* When this much is known the true state of the oase can easily be found out, and the oountry will then have the satisfaction of learning pre cisely what is the average rate of profit oa the Government lines of railway.