THE BURRA BURRA.
The annual meeting of the Shareholders , of the South Australian Mining Association was held yes- terday, when the Report and the Accounts, which our readers will find elsewhere, were presented.
The meeting was the most numerous which has ever been held by the Association, and the proceed ings were characterised by the utmost harmony; the Report and the Accounts having been, adopted with the utmost cordiality. The whole of the former Directors were re-elected with the one exception, that Captain Hall has re- placed Mr. C. S. Penny, resigned. The votes for the various candidates were as follows :— William Paxton 277 - William Sanders .......;........... 261 William Allen ? 254 ? George Hall......................*. 251 William Peacock ? 248 M. Fetherstonhaugh 172 N. P. LeBair ? '. ? :.... 72 . - Arthur Blyth ? :.. 46 Henry Francis Penny ? 18 John Bullock .'. ? 18 '. ? Some discussion took place with respect to in creasing the remuneration allowed to the Auditors, . . but no alteration was made. . ? . ' It. will be seen' (and we barely allude to the figures, conscious that the documents will be anxi» ously and minutely studied) that the Association has raised 'during the past half year nearly thirteen thousand tons of ore, which have been estimated to - ' average 21 cwt., and the quantity we are told would '\ ? .
have been still larger but that the occasional influx of water has prevented the continuous working of ?&B pitches. The balance, of profits for the half jear, after paying two dividends of 200 per cent, is £47,673 3s. 7d. How far the vitality of our limited community is dependant on the success of the mine, may be inferred from the statement that no less a sum than £170,780 17s. has been disbursed daring the year ending 31st March last ; so that, including dividends, more than a quarter of a mil lion has, by the instrumentality of this Association, been thrown into circulation among a population numbering 70,000 souls. The Association has expended upwards of £22,000 in land purchases and machinery, and there still remains, after a careful valuation of the stock on hand, and after taking their late acquisitions at cost, price, a divisible balance of £61,000. But the Di rectors viewing the difficulty of converting their stock into money during the winter months, state that '♦ they cannot now fix the rate of dividends for the next half year ; but at the usual time for paying dividends they will consider it their duty to declare as large an amount as the Company's position may safely warrant them in doing.
The Report and Accounts presented by the Direc tors of the Association yesterday, if accepted by the Shareholders as satisfactory, may well be received as .such by the public. Considerable excitement had been manifested previous to the meeting, and men's minds were not unclouded by apprehension. It was feared that the influx of water into the forty fathom level ; the disastrous effects of the season, which absolutelyprevents the cartage of ore, for it will be seen that there are only 70 tons on the road ; and the'partial stoppage of the Patent Copper Companys' Works, where, owing to the present drought and the consequent impossibility of procuring fuel, only six furnaces out of nineteen are at work — it was feared that the position of the Association was such that they could not continue to pay their usual dividends. Whatever course the Association may in future see good reason to adopt, the public will balance against the unfavourable circumstances we have enumerated the declaration of the Captain of the mine, who declares 'that the prospects were never more cheering than they now are,' and the fact that the balance of divisible profits is only £3,000 less than that shown on the 30th March, 1850. The colony has reason to be congratulated on these statements. Whatever may be the immediate or pos Bible effect to shareholders, it is evident that the colony can fear no retrogression. Measures of particular interest cannot affect the general results exhibited in the tables published by the Association. With 7,757 tons of ore and 144 tons of copper on hand within the province, there is no fear for any stoppage in the circulation of money arising from failure in the extensive ope rations of the Association, so soon as the season allows of their being undertaken. The extent of the sales effected in the province deserve remark, there having been disposed of 302 tons of copper ; and we observe the whole amount paid for ' discount, exchange and interest,' to be only £2,301 17s. 6d. From these internal trans actions important results arise. The manufactured article being largely exported to India, the colony is thereby provided with exchangeable produce as a remittance, in lieu of specie or bills. In conse quence Indian produce has become cheaper in our market than in any other of the Australian colonies, arising from our greater facility in making pay ment.
The number of men and boys employed is 1,042, but the eye lingers in unsatisfied scrutiny on the 24 given as the staff employed at the Karkulto Mines, whose prospects are stated to be so promising ; while the important Pompurne Estate (Emu Flats) is one of the smallest items on the credit side of the Asso ciation's balance-sheet — undeveloped and almost un noticed. In both these instances the interests of the colony clashes with that of the Company. These bare and scarcely distinguishable figures are the index, it may safely be assumed, to riches incalcu lable — to the buried treasure — which it wants but the mighty power of capital and the horny hand of labour combined to bring to light and distribute. There have not been wanting many who detected in the signs of the times the premonitory symptoms of a financial crisis. The effects of a glutted import market, and the stagnation resulting from the season, had given things a downward tendency, and it wanted but little to give impulse to the movement. The accounts which have now been submitted by the Burra will dispel a portion of these fears. The wavering will derive from them hopes on which to rally, and the most despondent must be hypercritical or hypochondriacal to reject the favourable conclu sions to which they tend.