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TO WAUKARINGA AND BACK. —
[By a Special Reporter.]
THE REEFS CONCLUDED.
The next claims going westward from the Alma are those of the Balaklava Company, which are about the centre of the line of reef longitudinally. The first shaft sunk by this
Company is a few hundred yards west of the Alma. It is an underlie on the northern slope of the Alma Hill, and goes down 100 feet, following the reef between denned walls. The stone, which widened in the bottom to about 4 feet, is certainly gold-bearing, for some hundredweights which were crushed yielded at the rate of 2 ozi. to the ton. Almost in a direct line south on the southern fsce of the same hill Captain Davidson, the mice manager, has sunk what he calls bis home shaft to a depth of about 130 feet vertically, through mixed country, some being a metamorphosed slate as hard and metallic as basalt, and some a soft easily worked sandstone. At a depth of 40 feet two leaders were cut, having a northerly underlie, and in the bottom, one of these, considerably increased in size and gold-bearing, is again met with, still dipping in the same direction. A : drive is baing run north into the hill at this level to intercept the reef which was followed in the underlie. At a distance of nearly 40 feet two leaders have been found both underlying south-westerly, agreeing with the dip of the country as seed in all the other claims to the right and left. Captain Davidson's theory, which may possibly yet prove oorrect, is that the Waukaringa, like most east and west reefs found in the neigh bouring colonies, will in depth underlie north, and that where the leader dipping north and those coming south meet the main trunk lead will be struck. He therefore intends to continue his vertical shaft at least to water level, which should be reached in less than another hundred feet. In a small gap between the Alma Bill and Specimen Hill, an underlie has been driven south-westerly, following a run of stone 20 inches thick. A vertical shaft was then suck to the south, which met the underlie at a depth of forty feet. This shaft went through easy country, consisting principally of decomposed slate. The underlie was then con tinued six feet further, when it came against the same hard country which ia found on tho south side of the home shaft, and the reef was lost. A winze was therefore put down thirty-five feet, when the reef was again stiuck, being then over four feet thick, consisting of the ironstone, gossan, and burnt quartz which are so common. Here Captain Davidson says it was again dipping north. A third shaft is now being opened a little to the south -west on the side of Specimen Hill, which the Manager thinks will cut the reef in depth. From this it is intended to drive north. Twelve men are at present employed on this mine, for whom a comfortable stone kitchen is provided. There is also quite a little township of tents and paling and iron huts for the use of those engaged. There is an underground tank capable of containing 11,900 gallons of water, and the tropical rains are anxiously looked for, as the water has now to be carted four miles from wells. A start has been made to prepare a site for the battery, which is expeoted shortly. A plaoe has been excavated and levelled on the north-west slope of Alma Hill, and the position will be a good one, if, as iB expected, the water can be obtained from the Home Shaft on the other 6ide of the range. To effect this object it is proposed to place a donkey-engine at the shaft mouth ana drive the water over the summit of the hill by means of a steam syphon. This Company, if everything goes well, must eventually be successful. On the west side of Specimen Hill is Wflliama'a No. 2 or central claim. 3 Here an underlie shaft has been driven from the north side of the hill to a depth of 100 feet in a south-Westerly direction. The body of stone, which Is solid, good-looking quartz, goes down the whole way. There is also a vertical shaft on the south of the hill, which is not deep enough to be ef any advantage in testing the oountry. These claims are suspended for three months. On the line of reef, but coming down from the high ground near the two hills, the trial-pita of the Great Extended Waukarioga appear ; but it was understood that these claims were now abandoned. In one place thereon some sinking has been done in a large blow of quartz, and a quantity of likely* looking stone extracted, of which there is a strong body dipping in the usual direction. There a nothing there but trial-pits laying bare the reef until the Alma Battery is left about a mile behind. Thea the North Waukaringa claims areseeu. On this property, which is the one on which gold was first struck, is a huge blow of iron-stained quartz in a hollow near a well belonging to Mr. Hiles, which certainly ought to have been examined in depth. The original discoverer, Mr. Watson, sunk and cut the reef at about 18 feet, and then drove an underlie south-westerly, and from this took out 20 tons of stone. Two tons of this were crushed at the Stirling Battery, Echunga, and yielded at the rate of 5J oz3. to the ton. After the Com pany was formed, a manager was obtained from Victoria, who for some inscrutable reason continued tfee vertical shaft down for 60 feet through very hard country, thus going behind the ascertained dip of tre reef. He then ran a drive southerly for 60 feet, and discontinued it just as the reef was touched and the water came in. The country here is not quite so settled as it is further west. The Old Waukaringa workings come next, in which there is nothing specially noticeable. There was one shaft put down on the reef, and some fair stone taken out. A little further we3t is what was known as Bull's Claim, belonging to the same proprietary. There h a vertical shaft 45 feet deep, and the lode is then followed for some distance on the underlie. There are about 15 tons of stoDe now on the surface, which it is estimated would go at least ^-oz. to the ton, and probably more. These claims, eight in number, including the North and Old Waukaringa, with the wooden huts erected thereon, were pur chased by Mr. J. Bull, who endeavoured to float a Company. They are now known as the Inker mann, and are suspended by permission of the Warden. The next claims held aro those of the Lady ElleD, which are being worked under the direction of Mr. T. Jackson. There is an under lie 25 feet deep, from which some 18 tons of good stuff has been raised. A vertical abaft to the south goes down 40 feet, but ia not yet on the reef. The men are just at present following the course of a cross-reef, which comes from the north, or rather north-east, and cuts the Waukaringa diagonally. There are also a num ber of oosteening-pits on the ground. The dip here is steeper than in the eastern claims. Then come the Waterloo Company's Wauka ringa Claims. These are as goodlook ing as anything on the line, though the top of the reef is filled with rubbish, with a little good stone in it for a considerable depth. The dip is steeper, the country softer and more settled, and the walls, of which the hanging is slate and the foot sandstone, are very regular. The quartz in this neighbourhood contains more porphyry, and there! is scarcely a heap from which a. stone showing gold cannot be taken. The gold here found ought to be ooareer at a less depth than in the eastern claims. These claims are suspended whilst the Company are developing their north reef property. Messrs. Williams have some ground just to the west of this, which also looks well for eventual results, and for a considerable distance beyond the strike of the reef has been traced, and in many places the cap laid bare to the other side of a small rise called the Green Hill, probably because it is as brown as a berry. Across the plains some 1\ mile3 north is the North Reef. There the Waterloo Company have their men at work putting down underlie shafts on the reef. No. 1 is sunk 70 feet, fol lowing a strong body of quartz the full width of the shaft all the way down. The walls are very regular, as is the surrounding country, the angle of dip being about 70. No. 2, a little to the east, is 30 feet deep, with the reef showing 2 feet thick Im the bottom* Gold has been plainly seen in the stone. The Alma Company have also two claims on the game line, in each of which the reef has been opened up and good stone obtained. In the easterly underlie shaft on these claims a small lode of galena is coming in from the north-east. There u plenty of room on the North Reef yet, and it is certain even tually to attract and repay attention. This, as far a* could be learned, completes the number of claims actually held in December, and of these, as will be seen, the greater number are merely holding on till toe mere, energetic, proprietors, strike unquestionable 'pay gravel' In depth.
Should this be done by the time harvest opera* tion are finished there will without doubt be ? considerable augmentation of the population on, the reefs, and the ooue try will be more thoroughly prospected. It is doubtful if pavaMe alluvial will ever be discovered in the neighbourhood, although a considerable amount of fine gold must at some time have been ejeoted from tne reefs. There is very little soil in the shallow gullies, and the precious metal being fine aad iiijht woald be carried away and scattered far and wide by the action of the tropical rains. Still it is perhaps worth while to prove the truth or otherwise of this theory, and several persons have expressed their determination to try for alluvial as soon as tho rainy season sets in. The spirituous wants of the community are provided for by what doo9 duty for an inn — a galvanized iron erection near the Inkermann olaims, bearing the nama of Mr. Mitchell, the puUioan at Terowie, over the door; but the plaoa is Actually kept by another person, who, without any licence, bat. acting on something like an indefinite permit, has been selling fermented and spirituous liquors for a long time past. This institution is'found to be a great convenience by the thorough going drinking men — of whom there are un fortunately too many in the vicinity —who are thus enabled to ' knock down their cheques' in the most approved and orthodox manner without the necessity of travelling 50 or 60 miles to perform their bacchanalian devotions. There is room for improvement in this particular, and the system of public-house permits oertainly requires revising if this style of selling intoxicating liquors be legal. Near the Alma battery there is a small general store, whioh is well stocked with local requisites at reasonable prices, oon- adering the distance from town. A start was made for Adelaide on Thursday morning at 6 o'clock, the route back being through Mr. Tbier's station to the east ward of their former track. This station has the homely appearanoo of a large dairy farm from the number of sleek cattle near the house and the abundance of poultry. The dust on Paratoo Plain was all ready to order. It having travelled its allotted course boforo an easterly wind on tho former occasion was now as persistently and conFoientiously travelling back from a north-westerly direction. A con siderable quantity of rain had evidently fallen from this point downward, and consequently the large dams contained an extra supply of water, and the sheep seen near the road in large numbers all looked remarkably well. The marked difference in the aountry to the north and south of Goyder's line of southern rainfall is very striking to a stranger. Above Terowio tho country begins to change. To the north salt- ' tush is the prevailing feature, and to tho south tussocks of black graea with good feed be tween are seen all over the plains where the ground has not been used for wheat. The crops in this neighbourhood are a little back ward, particularly near Hallott, owing probably to the altitude above the sea and the cold frosty weather experienced at some seasons. Tho Burra was reached at half-paat 10 on Friday morning, the distance having been accom plished in excellent time by Messrs. Jackson and Co's coach; and considering the difficulties of carcity of feed and water on the upper portions of the route thb line of ooaohes is well horsed and do the distance in first olass time.