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1 correction by doug.butler - Show corrections

THE COPPER REVIVAL.

SOME RESUSCITATED PROPERTIES. No. I—THE PARAMATTA MINES.

The recent rise in the price of copper, and the assurance that has been given of the permanency of toe advance owing to the large demand for the metal in Europe

and America, for electrical purposes, lias in duced considerable activity in all the cop per producing countries of the world. However, there does not seem to be any present indication that the consequent in crease in the output will be sufficiently in excess of the demand to cause ? shrinkage in tbe quotations. South Australia, in deed, has nothing to fear from the start ing of new mines or the resuscitation of •Id pnee on this side of the globe, for Aus tralia' only supplies about 2J pec cent, of the warldVco?sumption of copper, which fc about 1,500 .tons, daily. That means that the Wallaroo and Moonta mines', the product of which is approximately S,OCC tons of copper yearly, would keep tbe Manufacturers going for slightly over hall a week if the-annual output were placed at their disposal. The quality of the meta] as it leaves the Wallaroo Smelting Worlds is so good that it commands £ti per ton in excess of Chili bars, which form -the basin of copper quotations as published in London, and practically every cop per mine opened in South Australia is on the same tooting in-respect to this extra price. Copper -has always been the niain atay of the mining industry in this pro vince, and of, the total declared value of all minerals exported since the first ship ment was made in 1841, copper is res;>on aible for £15,163£93, copper ore for i£6,308,616, and regulus for £125,545, ~i (£21,588,054. The aggregate of all minerals to the end of 1888 is £22,357,607. Taking the most productive year (180 C) we rind that of a total declared value of £324,JW, copper to the extent of 129,272 cwt., Worth £584,509, was sent out of the colony, together with 16,824 tons of copper «re, worth £235,683. In the same year lead produced £2,991 and lead ore £11,311). Taking copper by itself, the largest quan tity sent out in one year was 150,863 cwt., valued at £627,381, in 1867, the copper ore export of that year being U,430 tons, worth £113,409. The record of. wmper value, however, was attained in 1872, when 149,090 cwt.,. set down as worth £680,714, ■was exported, the copper ore of that jreir being 28,064 tons, worth £122,020. The first shipment of copper (73 ewt 7 worth 1£215) was sent away in 1818, this quan tity jumping to 8,676 cwt. in the next year, and 44,595 cwt., worth £174,574, in 1850. The earliest shipment of copper ore was 1J tons, valued at £23, in 1843, in Which year lead ore weighing IBJ tom^-and worth £104, was also sent away, in 1944 copper owi jumped to 277 toniy arid lead 'ore to 203 tons, the total value being !£6,486. In 1645 tie copper ore dispatched weighed 662 i tons, lead ore 85£ tons, and regulus. 189 tons, the value reaching !£U.4&1~ while in 1546 the mineral exports .snowed 17 tons of lead, 6,1611 tons of cop per «Me/"*nd 14T-tons of lead'ore, -worth £M3£sl. Since that year only once (in 1854j when the exodus to the Victoria gold fields hindered production) did copper values get below sec figures. Iron and iron ore first.made their appearance on the ex port list in 1800, while bismuth and bis sauth ore were first noted in 1867, and tin was first sent away in-1876. Gold does not appear as a separate export line ontil 1873, when the quantity -was 76J oij, and the greatest quantity of that preewus .metal Kent out of the province Si. any one year was bat 19,082 or, worth £72,003, in 1887. Manganese made its. appearance in 1882, and the gteate* quantity of silver export ed wm* 2.700 <*, worth £490, in 1889. aarese4ywii3**¥e to emphasise the fact that,ittlaras^ local production is con- During the last few months many new copper - mine* have been opened in dif ferent parts iofe the colony, those moat +?iv?djjT^flrtf.frfliwg in the vicinity of the Great Taflway-Bne, .and at*con ridfijcafal? fUflttt^des from Adelaide: ~ In'the older copper- producing districts of Soacn AuHtralin,. nowever, quite a respect able- number of 'well-known pro perties have become' active • again, and.. we I- are pleased to know xhas thii , list U continually being added to. ,The" Blinman>mi?e and the Sliding Sockjniiae.w'hicli-are t>oth within about 25 nifief tot Bripmi, are. among .these re- VnalsfelM the rich cupriferous lodes in the neifUtorbDod of Moonta have not teen Mgfoeied, and «ace tbe middle of the year.Eogttsh and foreign capital has been utrod?ped into the colony for the purpose of thorliiighjy testing the copper value, of ' three mines adjoining each other, and abotti?jt|Wi • the northern boandaries of the Mos|y property. These are^the TSu?- i^nxso^i>Ji£il recent- viat uf Eog '3a&flV' «lid-SfooQta>? tninoa {or which ■Jar. Arthnr HacvertM" ih? local represen tetrre, .indtitf Vefiflmine. .. Just at pre •entMve desire to "4eal most particularly withaie ITParamatta, 1' on which 28 men «re snow <nu?h>yeai" aader the control ot Mr. Leigh Hancock. . The brown stone fcbildisgs andiofty chimney- raack at tne pDnransl shaft of -this mine, with the tall poppet-head* and extensive heaps of spoil aae the first to make'a separate appear ajtte' So tr?feT?S9Wg«t,a*' the engine OMii?#K. suburbs, of fMooata. Thej 'mHDwwlonk o^^an^ojbc]A-filauit about -a of-va mile fcljht east "of tbe taSl -3k townjjona port or Moonta. Moonta ; Itself is dbput two miles away, the route ' taence lung along the excellent Katiina road, mo* r&rough - the thickly populated townshp-M Cross Boads, the thorough fare nsinc3' being on the east salt -the Pare matta ifcctiona, and about as far on that aid* «f Ac mam shaft as the railway is oa/t&ft^wicst Af jt~ AH round the sngine fcooss at%stgns of the aaqr: village which sprang |5 on the plain mhea Xhe Para matta-Iras in full work, but which has cradualtr disappeared since operation! mar* •tnflpad 20 years ago, i*avuig the enginehbwe, poppet-head*, wofkahops, and manager's ■Jtesidence quite solitary tin "tha flats, which, save lor low tl-trce scrub and a few, tSbacco plants, struggling among the attle, «r waste from the mine, are en tirely treeless. Time hae .played havoc with the more perishable portions of the buildings, and several wooden sheds, .will have to,be removed, wJiile the old. bud dies are so rotten that they are only good for lighting fires, and probably it will tie found more convenient to fill up the old settling pits near at hand than to bring them into oe again in connection with the te«r crushing,' concentrating, and dressing plant. The atone work, however, is for the most part in good order, for it was well boflt in the first instance, and the chi?tneyratack, the upper portion of which is 'tit most creditable brick-work, is in an excellent condition. The old 35 horse frer engine was constmcted by Air. G. ait; of. Adelaide, and its fly-wheeL ci is .16 ft. in diameter, weighs about pirn. This will again supply the mo tive-po%er of the mine, but a new boiler v being built in beside one of the original boilers,'and the masons are repairing the waJb were needed. Fresh timbers are alao being supplied in places. The labo ratory, with the blacksmith's and car peatars shop, under the same roof, stands ? few yards away from the engine-house, ud here the stone work is also in excellent order, a new iron timber shed having been.erected at one end. The manager's bouse is also a separate building, and until the last few weeks it was occupied by Captain Pascoe, now of the Mid Moonta mine, who was for a considerable >&wi? in charge of the Paramatta property. About 700 yards north of west, and right agahtst U>e raihvay line, at the juncr.on of the Wneal James, Paramatta, and Poo na section*, i* a deep circnlar cen'enc ed tank," eipable of holding 50,000 gallon?, although at present it is empty. There is a food catchment area, however, and the first heavy rains should fill it. The water ip the shafts is strongly impregnated with salt, ariu highly mineralised, so that it is not at all well suited for boiler purposes, though it is good enough for the concentmtpri. Mr. - Hancock began operations on the mine, after the forma tion of the present company, on Friday, July U> and since that date preparations for starting the pumping machinery again tnrve been proceeding steadily. When the "Paramatta" was originally opened, Cap tain John Warren, now of Block 10 mine. Broken Hill, was in charge, and he was succeeded by Captain Hankel; the com plement of men employed in those times numbering 160. There ,are five shafts on the Para matta lode, the engine being erected at No. 3, which is down to the *32-ft. level, the water being about 24 ft. from the surface. There are six levels from this shaft at 132 ft., 192 ft.. 252 ft., 312 ft.. 372 ft., and 432 ft. respectively, and from the last a winze has been sunk for over Writ;-another level being driven in this at 492 ft. From abmu 50 ft. below the sur face down to the 432-ft. level much stopinp has been" done on each ride of the main shaft, and from No. I shaft on file west a large quantity of ore has been sloped away down to the 250-ft. level, a little ■toping having also been done at the 314

ft. level in the bottom of No. 4 shaft. Of course all these stoiic= are lull ot water, because tour ot the nye shafts are connect ed by levels. 1 here is a subsidence on tlic surlacc about IUU yards west ol the engine tbatt, a .arge hole huviug been left close beside the route 01 the old tramline to the railway. >io. 5 shall, which is the sliul iowe?l, and which has no cumniuiiicaUon wilh lue others, is indicated by a lon- spoil heap a tew scpre jurds to the east oi lac mam workings, >.o. 4 being between the two. The latter lias four levels running right through to the two neatest shafts <jii the west, and one (132 it.J continuing to No. 1 suaft, while one at 314 it. runs fur ther eatt tlian No. 5 shaft, but far below its bottom. The \\'heal .James i>roiK;rty, which is cut in half by the railway, is on the west, and its line of shafts can be traced by the spoil heaps stretching across the plain towards Moonta Hay, the re mains of some old concentrators being at the further end. The Wheal Jbuguci-, which is also bisected by the railway, is on the south-west, between the other two properties owned by the company uud Moonta, and it adjoins the north-eastern corner of the Moonta limes block. As one stands near the Paramatta engine house and looks south across the flat the houses and churches of Cross-roads break the horizon, behind them being seen the long heaps of spoil of the Moonta Mines, wuu the high chimneys showing above. The Mid-Moonta main shall is half a. mile to the east-south-east, close to the Kadina road, and the North Velta engine-house rises above the edge of the plain further to the east, the Yelta mine being right in front about the same distance away. The boundary line of the Jlid- Mooata and Wheal Hughes properties runs right through the Bible Christian Chapel at Cross-roads, for practically all the houses and places of worship suburban to Moonta arc built on mineral leases. Mr. L<eigh Hancock, who has been ap pointed to the management of the Para matta company, has had large cxpereuvc in copper mining. He is cow just" over 30 years of age, and he was born in the mana ger's house ot the Moonta Mines. After being educated in Moonta, he was sent to Prince Alfred.College, where he stayed for four years, during which time he passed the junior examination at the Adelaide University. He was next for three yean at the Ballarat School of Mines, whence lie went to the Britannia United mine, near that city, to take charge of surveying aud gold milling work. Aferwards he was cm ployed in the leaching works at the liroken Hill Proprietary mine, and his next en gagement was at the Girflambone copper mine, in the Cobar district. Mr. Hancock returned to the Peninsula to undertake assaying, and other duties at Wallaroo ■nimm t being subsequently promoted to the charge of the concentrators at Moonta mines. While there Jie % was offered and accepted him present position, lie intends at once to erect on the Paramatta mine an up-to-date winding engine, with an air corapreasor, to drive the rock-drills, and a concentrating, plant. All these equipments will be on tbe No. 3 shaft, bat the ' air engine will command the whole of the Paramatta and Wheal James Brokings, which are about half a mile in extent. The first thing to be done, however, is the un watering of the main shaft, which will be accomplished by the 6|-in. pump now in position, stores of firewood being already accumulated for boiler purposes. As pre viously stated, the water is about 24 ft. from the surface, and this will be forked to a depth of about 300 ft. with the first lift. Then, .according to the exigencies of the case, a similar-sized pump, or a smaller one, will be used. The pumping of the water will -occui>v a considerable period, and probably the whole of September will harefone before the pomps are at work. Theft; are 28 experienced men now em ployed strengetbening the travellers for the pumps, and- otherwise putting them in order, while the machinery generally is be ing overhauled at the. same time. The mine 4s also being _ equipped with the ne ceosary "states; while the additional build ings necessary to ensure its efficient work ing are now in coarse of erection. Of the 630 acre* which comprise the Paramatta, Wheal Hughes and Wheal James ~>roper ties; hundreds of acres are unexplored, many of the sections having only been tried by means, -of .^costeening pits. The shafts on the Wheal Hughes section, adjoining the-Moonta Mines, are to be tmwMered at once. There is a small C-horse power engine in an iron bouse near the KadinaToad at the head of Bickford's shaft. This is a well-timbered, ID ft. x 4 ft. shaft, 174 .ft. deep, and there is a lode at the bottom 13 ft. wide, carrying good ore on the foot and hanging walls. Tie shaft is about five chains from the Moonta boun dary. Tbe engine will also nnwater Coo per's shaft, 20* ft., and Andrew's shaft, 150 ft., as they all communicate at the 150 -ft. level. Andrew's shaft,,in which there is no drive of any size, according to Cap tain Pascoe, ■ contains - a -large -lode of good ore. There are pumps and winding gear'at Bickford's shaft, and they were in work eight or nine years ago. Since then, however, mischievous men and boys have done a good deal of damage to the ladders in the shaft, besides clearing away come of the tnoveable appliances. The water is now about 30 ft. from tile surface. Cooper's shaft is close by, a heap of the characteristic country rock of the district, felsite porphyry, marking its position, which is in jm open space between Yelta and Cross Roads. .On the Wheal -Tames section« there are six shafts, which will probably drain into No. 3 shaft of tbe Paramatta when ' the: main pump is at work. The' railway enters the Wheal Hughes property where it intersects the Kadina-road, near the Wesleyan church at Cross Roads, .and . the line travels due north through it, as veil as the WJieal James and the Paramatta for 1J miles, un til it passes 'out at the tank previously mentioned. The railway authorities are arranging for a stopping-place at Cross Roads for the convenience of the public, and they are about to construct a siding near the Paramatta main shaft. When the water is put this shaft will be sunk with all speed to the 583-ft. level, preparatory to developing the mine by opening up new ground, and the stoping of ore will be pushed forward wherever it is likely to prove profitable. While the water is being forked the concentrators will be erected. The Wheal Hughes shafts are on the oppo site side of- the railway from the Para matta, and they have very little head gear. The Mid Moonta mine adjoins the Para matta on the east, and divides it from the Telia, which also abuts on the Paramatta to the south of the Mid Moonta. The capital of the Paramatta copper mines, which was practically all subscrib ed at Lille, in France, consists of £200,000 in £1 snares, of which - £70,000 is appro priated for working capital, while 70,000 shares were issued to the vendors in part payment of the purchase money. The prospectus bears date May 19, 1899, and Mr. Bickford, who engineered the com pany, returned to Adelaide last month. The first issue was 160,000 shares, of which 90,000 were offered tor subscription at par, 2/6 being payable on application and 7/6 on allotment, the balance, as required, being available in two calls of 5/ each. The London directors are Messrs. W. W. Oswald, Charles Clark, and J. B. Gutbrie, the advisory board in Adelaide being Sir John Downer, Q.C., Mr. William Bick ford (who visited England for the pur pose of floating the company), and Mr. Harry Bickford. Tbe manager of the mines is Mr. Leigh G. Hancock, a son of Captain H. R. Hancock, and a younger brother of Mr. H. Lipson Hancock, the pre sent general manager of the Wallaroo and Moonta mines. The Adelaide secretary is Mr. Hedley Todd. The company holds nine mineral leases, aggregating 630 acres, which are granted by the Government at a rental of 1/ ah acre, plus a royalty of 21 per cent, of the net profits obtained as shown in the annual balance-sheet. The terms as rejtardsfive of the leases is 99 years from June 30, ISSB, and for the four others a similar period from December 31, 1890. The mining obligations call for the expen diture of £6 an acre in every two years in working, or the employment of three men for every 80 acres, for nine months in each year. The prospectus sets forth these inducements to investors:—The leases were formerly owned by the Paramatta, Wheal James, and Wheal lingoes com lianics, but they were recently acquired and consolidated by Messrs. W. and H. Bickford. The Paramatta started about 25 years ago, with a paid-up capital of £600, and although only worked on a small scale it produced 13,500 tons of ore, worth £128,000. It paid more than   £40,000 in dividends, while buildings and machinery, costing over £19,000, were built out of the proceeds of the ore, so that it is not wonderful that £1 shares were once nuoted at £25 each. Copper fell in price, however, and this fact, ad ded to the high rate of freights anil wages with the absence of a reserve fund, induced the closing ot the mine in 1579. The de velopmental work done on the mine dur ing the period of it- (irst activity ua- of a very extensive character. Akoeethcr there arc a dozen shafts, of whiiii the shallowest i* 120 ft. down, and the deepest is 432 ft., although there is a winze suuk from a level at the latter depth for more than 100 ft. The machinery owned by the orisrinal company, and still on the " pm perty, includes a 35-horsepoiver enpice and another of 6-horsepower, together with boilers, winding pear, pnmns, crusher, jijt- Rer. and poppet heads. There is a sub stantially built stone cncineliousr. with a fine large stack, as well as= boiler and crusher houses, blacksmiths" and carpen ters' shops, and an assay office, a seven roomed manager's house being near at

hand. Tlie purchase consideration for ttic three properties was fKM.&IO, of which £30,000 wa- cash, and £70.000 in fully paid s-li;uos, the La'ancc l>cing payable in cash or shares at tlie option of the direc tor-. (Vi|>i..-sin H. 11. Ilam-uck, who wa- 31 year- maiuiKci' ( >f ilie Mooiua mine, in ins nji.iri -i-iu- tiiat die l'araaiaua lo.ie bears 70 ilo^. cas'i oi nortli. tho rook iir maiion licinj; i'e!.-ite porphyry. <); ihc drive* on tl<L- lode the lougfst is at 312 f:., ils extent licluj 9!)J fi. J'lom tlie ivinr-;: at il;e 492-fi. level there is a drive 150 tt. youth, containing a 4-f;. lode, with regular wails, arii containing a liirle yeilaw ore. Close to the winze is a 7-ft- lode, consiscins of quartz and ore, worth 6 tons of 13 |ier cent, ore per fathom. South of the winze is a lode averaging 21 ft. in the southen:, and 5 ft. in the northern !>art, the yield when concentrated being estimated at S tons of l.j per cent, ore per fatliom. l"ndsinc:i:h Xo. J sl'.nfi, in the 432-fc. level, i- a 4-ft. lo;!c, <nn-i.-Lin? chiefly or nuartz anil velioiv or.-, while good nrc came from No. 1 shnfi. I'rc-cni ilay ap pliances arc s.o much improved that Cap tain Hanicck is terrain iba: a lirpc arcn of ground, not payal^c when tlic mine was in operation, can now l>e worked wim a *au-factorv margin of profit. He is also sure that the 20 years' submersion will not prevent cither Xo. I or Xo. 2 hcing used as a main shaft, lie states that rich ore has beon raised from die WlicJ Hughes, and that there are encouraging prospects for further exploration, while a continuation of the lode probably run* into the Wheal James. Tlie advice of Captain Hancock as to the working of th? mine and the provision of machinery will be carried iuto effect, as= previously ex plained. He concludes: his report by un hesitatingly "recommending the Part matta as a thoroughly legitimate mininj enterprise," and by asserting that £30,0i)n will be sufficient to put tire mine in rod-J working condition, though he warns share holders tliat "expensive works of develop ment must be proceeded with before it would be prudent to pay dividends." Cap tain Thomas Cowling, once of the Ilamley mine, in bis report states that ISO ft. of Cooper's shaft at the Wheal Hughes (,%i acres) is on the course of tlie lode, which at the bottom is 3 ft. wide, containing good yellow ore, which will dress up to 20 per cent. The lait-fi. level, whieli commu nicates with Bickford's shaft on the nortii, is on a strong lode composed of quartz, fel spar and yellow ore cf good percenfcuu, while large quantities of stuff can be taken any when, dressing appliances are avail able! At 81 ft. there is a 42 ft. drive to the north-east, on a lode containing rich black, prey, and yellow ore. rich ore be ing at the back and in tbe bottom of the level. In Bickford's shaft, 200 ft. north of Cooper's, Captain Cowling says there are several good lodes, while in Andrews shaft, ISO ft. north-cast of Bickford's, at 126 ft., is a 3 ft. lode, containing iron. quartz and steatite, mixed with yellow ore of good percentage. The engine at BicU {orc's shaft also draws water and lode stuff from Cooper's. Cowling's shaft is at the north end of the property, 84 ft. sourh of the Paramatta boundary, and a similar distance cast of the Wheal James. At the 144-ft. level and on for 30 ft. one of the richest bunches of ore ever discovered in the district was found. It varied from 10 ft. to 17 ft. in width, and sold at 29 per cent, of copper when raised. At 180 ft., the present depth, the shale carries a 6 it. lode composed principally of quartz an-1 yellow copper ore of good percentage. From the work done in this shaft, the Wheil Hughes paid £2,500 in dividends, the bot tom of the shaft being, within a "few feet of the Wheal. James boundary. On ttife Wheal James (73 acres)" t>p"tain:"Cowli«is states that a good deal of cqsteening has been done, and several trial pite have been sank, the three principal shafts being Bankine's, 192 ft. perpendicular, opening up a C ft. lode of beautiful yellow ore: Cooper's, 180 ft., with a highly encouraging lode,, worthy of vigo rous development; ana James s 108 ft is in a strong, well-defined lode, which is 3 ft. or 4 ft. wide at-the botom, containing quartz and iron pyrites mixed with a little oxide of copper. A strong champion lode ha* been traced for the whole length of the property, Jx>th underground and at the sur lace, so" that Captain' Cowling expects that the mine will become a permanent and profitable -property. Rankine's shaft v holed ftirongh to the Paramatta workings. He speaks most highly of the Paramatta mine also, which wasi opened up because green carbonate, of copper was found on the surface near the Wheal Hughes boun dary. This-green ore extended north to No. 3 shaft, a distance of 540 ft. He ad vises that the No. 1 shaft should be pushed down another 120 It. as fest as possible, as well as the Wheal Hughes shaft on the same lode, and he predicts that with a reasonable amount of capital judiciously spent the mine will once more pay aivi denda. Captain J. Evans, who worked tin derground on the Paramatta, states that a 5-in. lift kept the water in check then, and he also asserts that the mine will pay well if properly equipped and wisely de veloped. These two requisites the present companx are determined to supply and the capital at their command is adequate for that pur pose. There is a large quantity of ore at the surface, which trill pay for dressing now that wages are cheaper and auoh very greatly-improved appliances are at hand, as compared with the days of 1879, when the i'aramatta was shut down. There will be considerable saying likewise in working the three properties, as one concern in stead of as separate undertakings. It if interesting to know that Air Speare, one of the last men to work on the Paramatta states that with five others, he was tribut ing at the 300-ft. level in the No. 3 shaft, and that they broke, raised, and dressed to 23 per cent. 105 tons or ore in nine weeks. He thinks the mine will pay right from the start when the water is out and development begins.

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