Letter from the Geological Surveyor to the
Honeysuckle Flat, Liverpool Range,
January 1st. 1853.
SIR-I have the honour to transmit, for the information of his Excellency the Governor General, -my eighth tri-montbly report upon the geological and mineralogical structure of New South Wales, accompanied by map, sections, and sketches of such work as has been surveyed during the last three months.
Believing them to be of sufficient importance, I take the opportunity of sending with the report small samples of the carbonate of magne- sia, and two varieties of the salt; one in its natural pure state, the other in combination with earth, without waiting its transit with larger and other specimens, made up for the Australian Museum.I lhave the honor to remain, sir, your most obedient servant,
S. STUTCHBURY. The Hon. the Colonial Secretary.
Camp, Honeysuckle Flat, Binnagulmn,
January 1st, 1853.
One mile and a half from the old Goodeman Station, on the east side of the creek, are some singular sandstone " gibbers." They consist of coarse with fine-grained sandstone, much of which is excellent for building purposes, and is greatly dislocated and thrown about-large masses having rolled down to the flat land below, and many may be seen also in the creek, upon clay slate. Having been much resorted to formerly by the aborigines, for the purpose of grinding and shaping their mogos (stone toma- hawks), the sandstone is furrowed in various directions, and might in many instances deceive a person into the belief that they were natural impressions of footprints. The "gibbers" are remarkable, from having evidently been thrown
up together with the clay slates upon which they rest. In several places where the debacle has not covered it, the slaty rocks may he ob- served bristling up at a much higher evelation than those of the creek, while the lines of stra- tification are dome shaped, probably from some eruption of trap rock not yet denuded.
The sandstone itself exhibits, in several of the strata, the mode of its deposition, such as would result by the gradual deposit of sand from slow moving waters filling in gullies ; the lines de- pending upon the velocity of the carrying stream and size of the material moved, also upon the occasional cessation and recurrence of the cause. At the north end the clay slates are greatly altered, and the sand-stone vitrified.
Traced up Ford's Creek (a branch or tribu- tary of M'Lahy's Creek), it takes its rise on the Talbragar side of the range (Goodeman's) which separates the waters of the Cudgegong from those of the Talbragar. Starting from the junction, which is slate rook, at one and a
half mile came upon conglomerate, the creek trending more east ; again noticed slate rocks, which carry but very little quartz, sufficient yet to produce a small quantity of gold. Crossing the Dividing Range at the head of Ford's Creek, quartz is rather more abundant, and the high summits are in most instances capped w .h conglomerate, the slates being much altered, apparently burnt. Descended lo the Talawong Creek, which falls into the Wialdra, the whole length of which is composed of fissile schists, principally clay slates. Prospected, and found gold in this creek. The shepherd informed me that he had obtained a white metal, similar to silver, but in the grain form of gold.
In the Talawang Creek there is black oxide
of manganese, apparently a bog ore, like bog
Traced down M'Lahy's Creek, at one mile below the station found gold. The schists oross the creek north 80 degrees west, dip westerly ; at two and a half miles a conglomerate com- posed principally of fragmentary slates and quartz; one quarter .of a mile on the east, slaty
rook, strike north fifty degrees west, dip south- i west ; three and a quarter miles, sandstone, dip west ; five miles, sandstone ridges, resting,on slaty rocks ; at the base of the sandstone, nume- rous loose masses of fossil wood and bituminous shales ; proceeding from M'Lahy's Creek to Coh bera, sandstone in large plains and ridges, no doubt part of the coal field of the Talbragar, coal
being visible in a sandy creek four miles west
COAL FIELD OF THE TALBRAGAR.
The existence of beds of coal so far west, cannot be deemed otherwise than very impor- tant, taking into consideration the development of the interior by steam communication, which will undoubtedly sooner or later be ramifying itself throughout the country by a network of rail«a} s ; therefore it is that 1 recur to this bubjeot, briefly mentioned in my last report.
We have seen evidence of coal along the line of the Cudgegong - first near Mudgee, at Clou- dy Bay, at Guntewang, near Cobbera, on the Talbragar itself, near Gillis' station ; and, from the immense extent of the sandstone formation, it may fairly be presumed that it might be ob- tained hy sinking shafts, as far north as the Castlereagh River, west to Dubbo, south to near Wtnlgee, and east to Belara. Independent of the large area north of the Castlereagh, it is highly probable that the whole extent of coun- try coloured as sandstone will be found to con- tain coal,- with a lew exceptions, in such instances as where the granites, trap, mid other igneous rocka have intruded themselves, or where the sandstone but thinly covers the schistose- rocks.
I find it mentioned in Mr. Hargraves' official report that coal and iron were abundant among the Warrumbungle mountains, and being much interested in this statement, I obtained the ser- vices of the same parties who accompanied him in his progress throngh these ranges ; but al- though I visited every spot that he did, I did not succeed in discovering a single instance of coal ; a few nodules of ironstone were seen scat- tered about, but not sufficiently rich in quality or quantity as ever to deserve the appellation of
I was induced to visit the Warrambungle mountains, in consequence of having seen a yellow metal which the majority of persons mis- took for gold, thinking it highly probable, that where such a metal existed there might also be gold; and therefore I determined to include these singularly formed mountains in my gene- ral survey.
On arriving at the spot, Wellerborrowong, on the creek of the same name-(Burralong on the map)-I found the quantity of metal obtained did not exceed three ounces. The exact locality I was not enabled to learn, as the person, named Colville, and his lad, who had collected it, were away ; and it being really unimportant either in value or quantity, I did not lose much time in
its search. The rocks from which it must have been obtained were metamorphic schists, of small extent, and almost entirely devoid of
Another object also engaged my attention the samo which caused Mr. Hargraves' visit-a reported silver or tin mine, a combination of which I have no knowledge as existing natu- rally. The story of its occurrence, and the man- ner of its being reduced, were similar, in the minutest particular, with what I heard as oc- curring among the Sappa Bulga mountains. I was, equally with Mr. Hargraves, unsuccessful in eliciting the truth of the report, and I firmly believe the whole to be a fabrication from be- ginning to end. That the man produced a white metal, which he employed in ornamenting the handles of stock whips, making rings, &c. is true ; hut I have no hesitation in pronouncing it to have been an artificial mixture of metals
otherwise obtained. The creek upou which it was said to be found is principally of sandstone, with basaltic whinstone dykes, between Keewang
It is just possible (hat it may prove to be native lead ; but the assurance given to me by Mr. Edwin Rouse, that it had been assayed ia
Sydney, and found to contain silver and tin, is in negation of its being lead in any form. How- ever, as the Government is in possession of a sample of the metal sent by Mr. Hargraves, the
fact can be decided.
I shall now proceed to describe the country ex-
Leaving Cobbera, I went east as far as Be- laro, taking the main road to Mindoran on the Castlereagh River-the whole country examined thus far being of sandstone, well shown in sec- tions along the Merigoingoin Creek.
In crossing a peninsular of the river, from Mindoran (Mendooran) to Bondalla, I found its direct course had been checked by the occurrence of a large mass of trap rock (whinstone), and several similar instances occur along the river, obstruct- ing its course by the enduring hardness of this rock. Prospected in several places along the river for gold, without success, although I have been assured that a few specs have been ob- tained. Small rubies, chrysolites, hyacinth, and topaz, occur in the sands of the Castlereagh.
Three miles north east of the Bondalla station, near a swamp and lagoon, is a station called Yiungra. On the sides of the lagoon (otherwise sandstone), found a deposit of dense white limestone containing quartz sands, evidently a modern deposit. Hence to Yarragrin (Mr. Walker's) sandstone, with occasional bosses of trap rock ; three quarters of a mile north, trap rock ; then sandstone, as far as Mullen ; two miles, a plain, composed of black soil and trap it is called Walket's, or the Black Forest. Leaving the plain, crossed a dry creek, and then a ridge of dense trap rock containing mica and olivine. The latter mineral might he picked up in quantity, loose on the ground, derived from the decomposition of the rock ; this variety is the peridot of the jewellers. Arrived at a station ( Rouse's) named Bonebone, on a flat, the whole of which consists of a coarse loose sandstone, re- sulting from the drift Band «consolidating. Pounded and washed some of it. Found titanite, gurnet, hyacinth, and chrysolite, small in size, the principal ingredient being quartzose sand. I consider these minerals to be confirmatory of its recent origin, as they all belong to the neighbouring trap rocks, except the quartz. The bedding or stratification is perfectly horizontal, while the sandstones of the neighbourhood are all more or less inclined. Passing a station (Orandelbinia), and crossing the Bondalla Creek, a mound trap is exhibited ; then a gradual ascent of more than three miles over sandstone ; the summit of the first large hill, trap, with olivine, which continues from thence to Ugliomel.
At two miles from Bonebone, another creek joins the Bondalla, and takes it course to Keewang, (a station of Rouse's) at the foot of the Warrambungle mountains.
At nine and a half miles from Bonebone, on the Keewang Creek, near an old station named Ugliomel, there is a curious but evidently a small subaqueous mud crater; it exhibits a round basin-shaped form, with sloping sides of hard black rock highly vesicular ; in many cases the cavities or vésicules are filled by carbonate of lime, in others partially by crystallised chabasie and mesotype ; seven feet above the margin is a distinct layer of puzzuolana or white calcareous loam eight feet ihick, slightly inclined to the westward, caused either by the force of ejection, or by the direction of the water current in which it was deposited ; above this, a scoriatcd mass, partially vitrified, probably from its having
risen above the water, cooling and hardening in the atmosphere. The whole country for miles around hears e» Menee of a large area having been covered by trappean or volcanic mud ; in many places it has an intumescent form, with occasional subaqueous veuts like the
case above described.
A large portion of the Keewang Swamp is composed of a very light cream-coloured de- posit, probably the result of decomposing trap rock, swept down into the swamp or lake from the surrounding ranges. It is a lacustrine formation of the Pleistocene period, and, judg- ing from the remains of plants found therein, it must ulraost have been of the softest con- sistence, as they retain their most delicate textures, are not laminated or compressed by incumbent weight, but distributed through the clay in all directions.
Visited Hayes' Range, " Durabong," a re- markable mound or plateau of basaltic whin- stone, perfectly flat on the top as regards the surface, but exhibiting numerous cases of " loggan stones," and blocks of trap rock, which by the removal or destruction of a few stones, might be easily made to represent druidical temples, such as those of Amesbury, Stanton Drew, and others in England. The eastern Bide of the plateau is very precipitous, overlooking an immense gulf, " Hayes' Hole," and in, the distance, to the east, Belar.
Went from Keewang, accompanied by Mr. Fisher, a settler, to his station Nuranebong, situate hear the high and romantic peaks of this singular group of mountains ; the whole country after leaving Keewang in a west direc- tion is trappenu. A well sunk at Fisher's in the valley of the Welleborrowong Creek exhi- bits the same light chalky clay as that at Kee- wang, also containing plants; at a depth of thirty-five feet a log of timber of two feet in diameter was found in that peculiar stage of fossilization as to be partially bituminised in appearance, as if it had been charred through- out. Six miles from Fisher's station, in a west north-west direction towards the remarkable
mouutain called the " Spire ;" the country for the first four miles is a trap rock with chabasie, etc. ; about two miles from the spire and half a mile in width is altered sandstone, then a distinct line of circumvallation, which separates what may conveniently be called the base, and which together with the pinnacle is a hard close grained granite, consisting of glassy felspar (adularía) quartz and mica, the quartz of a dirty giey colour; most of the conical mounts, peaks, and spires, are granite, while the long anti flat-topped ranges are trap rock.
In returning we esme south, and passed a high conical mountain, also of granite, the
base or low flanks being metamorphosed sand- stone-lower still, altered slate rocks; then turning to the eastward arrived at a creek known by the general term of Oakey Creek, on the eastern side of which is a high bluff of basaltic columns with an immense debacle at the base; a short distance up the creek there is a very picturesque and grand waterfall over a nearly vertical and flat rock of about one hundred feet in height, the water precipitating itself into a capacious basin. Its course when swollen would be over large blocks ef basalt, and at such times must be awfully grand.
At the base of the fall there is a deep recess or cavern, like the entrance into a tunnel, in this was obtained some radiated and amorphous arragonite. On the right hand, as you face the fall, the basaltic columns are curved or bent. There are several smaller waterfalls in the neighbourhood, each having its own peculiar
Many precipitous bluffs of basalt of gigantic dimensions occur among these ranges ; they are too numerous to particularise.
I visited Walleborowang and Barebone sta- tions (the former distant fifteen and the latter twenty miles from Fisher's) for the purpose of examining into the reputed gold, sufficiently discussed in the early part of the report. The range running south nearly three miles from our starting place is highly altered slate, but without a fragment of quartz; the general feature of the whole of these mountains is the total absence of veinstone quartz, the only kind to be seen at all being the small pebbles of the sandstone conglomerates.
Passing over the schist rocks, trap again comes in ; on a slight rise there is a flat-topped hill, on the western side of which there are numerous fossil trees, silicified, many of them opaiised similar to those of Van Diemen's Land : these trees lie loose upon the surface of the trap rock, not at all imbedded ; large blocks of chert and semiopal ara also lying about.
In a creek about half a mile west there are thick beds of magnesiate, one of which appears to be nearly pure magnesia, and from five to seven feet thick. If this should prove to he of commercial value, it might be obtained in almost unlimited quantities.
Directing my course south-west I came upon a large open forest, the north-east end of which is " Marrawambang," composed of trachytic
trap, with an immense number of agates and
fragmentary cachalong. The south-west half of the forest is named Boganbang, Baronne Plains bearing west 15 degrees north, and Warreborrowang south 15 degrees west, distant about seven miles. The country now was en- tirely sandstone, in ita different varieties, from good freestone to hard conglomerate, and they continue until reaching the hut, just beyond which a ridge of hornblende slate extends about two miles in length by half a mile in width. The bearings of the slates vary from north 25 degrees west to north 50 degrees west, with a sharp dip south-westerly. Continued my route to Barebone (Bennett's), returned to Fisher's upon a more easterly course, examining the numerous creeks, gullies, and ridges,-found them to be wholly sandstone, until again reach- ing the forest of Boganbang. East of the forest found the slate rock to extend itself from Fisher's,-got its bearing, which was north 20 degrees east, thrown out of its regular course by the trap rock of the forest, with dip south- easterly. This deviation and probable accom- panying fault will account for a permanent spring of water issuing in Bandstone at Bullerin.
The following are some of tbe native names of the Warrumbungle mountains: -
Spire-Tonduran ; large mountain-Bullaway; next highest mountain between Bullaway and Tonduran-Bingle; two miles right hand of forest going south (Two Brothers)-Bulla Koween ; long black range left hand of the Spire-Nammin ; large bluff rock on tho right of the Spire, from which the Belar Creek arises -Berimbuckle ; large conical mountain between the Spire and Waterfall-Morogan ; from
On my return from the Warrambungle, hav- ing given them all the attention I thought them worthy of, and finding little of economic worth, excepting the magnesiate, and from the general aspect of the country and a close examination of the rocks themselves wherever I went, I have arrived at the conclusion that it is not likely that any ore of metal will be found in workable quantities, although a rich pastoral country, and might be made much more so by a few artificial means being adopted for the re- tention ot water in the mountain passes-a thing by no means difficult of accomplishment where the thunder-showers are frequent. I de- termined upon taking a south-easterly course, for the purpose of reaching Coola (Coolah), and completing my survey of the Talbragar, of which the Coolaburragundy Creek is one of the prin- cipal sources of supply.
In so doing I left Keewang for Belar-a dis- tance of 12 miles, visiting Goongery-an old station on the Grunbar Creek, where it was stated the shepherd had discovered the white metal (silver and tin ?) I need not add to what I have before stated upon this subject.
An exceeding pretty waterfall over basaltic columns isatthisstation. Trap rocks prevail until within four and a half miles of Belar, the re- mainder being sandstone. Near tha intrusion of the igneous rocks through the sandstone are several fine springs of water, giving origin to a swamp. Visited the Tunebar Mountain, about nine miles distant, west north-west, from Belar. Mr. Maxwell, the Superintendent at Belar, in formed me it was granite. Found it, and the neighbouring range, to be a very hard diorite rock, trending to the eastward until it come op- posite Belar. Near the same pinnacle " Mount Mokera," there is another waterfall over basalt, at the head of oue of the sources of the
The Berimbnckle Mountain is just west of Tunebar, and the Tombuckle five miles east. Jack Hall's Creek is east of the trap ranges lying east of Belar.
From hence to Mobil a, a distance of ten miles south south-east. Crossed the Greenbar and another creek ; the whole distance being over sandstone ridges and sandy plains. Mo- bil a, a deserted first class station, stands high on some sandstone cliffs, commanding fine reaches of the Castlereagh river. On this mound of sandstone a spring of water arises
within the station hut.
At two miles east fifteen degrees south trap rock. Near this, the Weetaliba Creek joins the Castlereagh. On the north side of the creek, a range commences, and continues its eastern course as far as the Oaky Creek, (Allison's) oc- cupying the northern side in the greatest
Near a station called Gilialambi, half-way between the junction of the creek and the Wee- taliba (Weetalibah) station, there may be seen, in a water- hole of the creek, a remarkable and interesting section of trap rock assuming a very curious character, consisting of spheroidal masses amidst a loose earth. Whether these round masses have hardened by segregation, or the softer earth be the effect of decomposition, I cannot now say. Otherwise, the creek some distance down and up exhibits a hard basaltic whinstone, the higher lands being coated by conglomerate sandstone.
From Gilialambi to Weetaliba, a distance of eight miles, both sides of the creek present trap rock containing olivine. On the range uorth of the station double refracting spar may be picked up, derived from a vein of compact mesotype, running through the whinstone.
To the Honeysuckle Station, situate on the Deep Creek, (a branch of the Weetaliba), a dis- tance of seven miles, plains of sandstone with numerous dykes of trap rock taking a north and south direction. At this station they have con- structed a dam across the creek, thus forming a reservoir capable of watering ten thousand sheep, besides cattle and horses, in the driest season ; a system which, from its usefulness, I am surprised is not more generally adopted.
I am pleased to refer to this fact because I repeatedly suggested it, and if carried out upon scientific engineering principles, could but seldom fail. Leaving the Honeysuckle Station and proceeding towards Coola, the first three miles sandstone plains. Then commenced ascend- ing- the western spur of the Liverpool Range. At five miles two wells have been sunk-a great relief to travellers. They are within four yards of each other. One, in which they have passed
through the alluvial till, and sixty feet in sand stone, contains but very little water-the other, not having penetrated the sandstone, is nearly always full of good water.
This camping place is known by the name of the Black Stump. It was intended to have erected an inn; but the party failing in securing a sufficient supply of water by means of the deep well, gave up the idea.
As it embraces a point in economic geology, it will not be considered out of my province to state how a sufficient and permanent supply could have been secured. The till, or top earth, in this case, is tenacious and water-tight ; but, upon penetrating the sandstone, the lines of stratification carried off the water nearly as fast as it accumulated, to some lower level, perhaps far distant-probably some creek where the strata would open out. In such a case, it is only necessary to excavate a chamber at the bottom of the well, of proper dimensions with regard to the quantity of water required, and walling the sides and bottom with bricks and cement. If the latter cannot be obtained, then well-tempered clay may be puddled round the sides, and at the bottom covered or cased with bricks, with or without lime or cement ; which, with small trouble, may bo made perfectly water- tight ; the sides of the well being supported by bricks, in open courses, to allow the water to pass through. Thus, a pure and permanent supply may be had in almost any country.
I have been induced to make this digression in consequence of the scarcity of water, and the distance from place to place where it can be obtained in this and many other parts of the
The hills which rise from this spot are all trappean. Passed through Coola Gap and reached the plains and Coolaburragundy Creek. These plains are principally made up of the debris of the surrounding ranges, with the exception of some very singular isolated masses of sandstone (conglomerate), such as the " Castle" and the " Gotta" rocks ; the latter occu- pying about an acre of surface, standing up abruptly in tbe midst of the plains, in height from forty to fifty feet. The angle of dip in the unmoved rock is four degrees, and to the
It is very difficult to understand how these isolated masses have been preserved, and bold
their integrity in these plains and valleys of
The Coola, Booyamurra (or Harrison's), Bagabel, Nandoura, and Bernana plains all present the same general aspect and formation. In colouring the map I now adopt the colour of the rock from the debris of which the valley or plain is composed, rather than the general colour for alluvium, from feeling the importance of so doing since the gold discovery.
The alluvium derived from particular rocks may or may not contain gold. If it be derived from auriferous strata, the colour used on the map will at once show the probability of gold being found there ; while, if one colour be used for alluvium deposits, not regarding whence it was derived, futile attempts might be made in search of gold where there was not the slightest probability of its being found.
From Coola to Cassilis, twenty miles east, forty degrees south, crossing the Boojamurra Piains, Croppy Creek, the Turee Creek, and the Minmurra (Munmurra), on which Cassilis is situated, the whole country is of igneous formation (whin- stone), with such inconsiderable exceptions, where the sandstone shows itself at the crossing place of the creeks, that it cannot be marked upon the map, therefore only described. About a mile from Cassilis, north-west, sandstone occurs on both sides the Minmurra. Five miles from Cassilis, on the road to Tongi, there is a very remarkable donble topped mountain-its summit sandstone, while the base is whinstone. The remaining five miles, trap rock, with the exception of a small patch of sandstone near a hut. The black tenacious soil of the plains is derived from the disintegration of whinstone. At Uarbry sandstone comes in-a reddish grit, nearly horizontal-and continues the whole dis- tance of that portion of the Talbragar Eiver to the Mérutherer. Three miles north, twenty degrees west, a small ridge of schistose rock, with abundance of quartz-the strike or bearing of the slates north thirty degrees west, dip westerly ; the ridge is very narrow. Carried some of the earth to the river, near the old station of Talbragar, and washed it, but found uo gold. In the western angle of the Bernana Plains is a range of beautiful white granite. At one and a half mile another schistose ridge, very deficient in quartz, backed on the western side by trap rock. From thence to the junction of the Coolaburragundy with the Talbragar, sandstone. South-west from this point several small ridges of slaty rock, but not of sufficient extent as to give much, if any, promise of gold in remunerative quantity.
Proceeded from the old . Talbragar station, north twenty degrees east, across the plains ot black soil, for two miles ; there I found sand- stone. At the fourth mile, a red granite bear- ing east; then sandstone conglomerate for one mile. The granite again comes in for two miles, of a grey colour, followed by sandstone for one mile ; and granite, of a red colour, for one mila and a half mile. From thence to the
summit of the dividing range the country is of trap formation. From the last-mentioned granite, on a bearing of south sixty degrees east, I found that it extended to the ridge be- fore alluded to without interruption On the southern side of the range bosses of granite present themselves, with spurs of trap rock, flanked by altered sandstone for one quarter of a mile ; then schists, with a westerly dip, until within a few yards of the Coolaburragundy Creek. Continuing my course across a plain of black soil (the debris of the surrounding trap) for one and a half miles, granite again makes its appearance, flanked on the south by
schists, and terminating at the base of a pin- nacle of sandstone (conglomerate) in height 400 feet above the level of the plain.
In reaching Mangullia (RhodesV) seven miles from Coola, in a west direction, I kept upon the crest of the dividing range between the Tal- bragar side, and arrived at the station"} about a mile from which, at the extremity of a ravine, in a small cave, there is a fine chalybeate spring. The water falls into a small basin, and, in its overflow, leaves a red-coloured sediment and
Two miles up a creek (the Wallamberewnng, which falls into the Talbragar) there is coal. The stratum visible is not more than six inches thick, of a bituminous character, and highly inflammable. Above the coal, sandstone and blue clay shales; superimposed on which is a thick bed of rich compact haematite iron ore, extending one mile in length and half a mile in breadth, of an average thickness of six feet This solid bed is apparent. The ridges in the immediate neighbourhood are covered by uni- form masses, making an extent of at least three square miles of iron mine ; and most probably has its extent over the whole of the coal field previously described, beneath the thick beds of coal, which future experience may develop. I arrive at this conclusion from finding that the general dip of the coal measures are to the west- ward ; therefore, the strata which crop out at this particular locality are subordinate to those of the lower part of the Talbragar' and Cas-
Since writing the above, I received informa- tion of salt having been discovered in the neighbourhood of Bothero. Aware of the great value of this mineral, with regard to its eco- nomic uses in a pastoral or agricultural country, more especially at a time when the high charge for land transit renders the article very ex- pensive, I retraced my steps in that directiou, for the parpóse of investigating the truth of
Accompanied by a person named Rhodes, of Mangullia, after a fatiguing search over a mountainous country, I succeeded in finding a recess in the sandstone, occasioned by the de- liquescence of the stratum of salt (chloride of sodium). This stratum, so far as it could be seen, is of an average thickness of eighteen inches, situated at the, head of the Merigoin Creek, a tributary of the Castlereagh Biver, six miles from Bothero, east eleven degrees south, m the body of and under a precipitous mountain of sandstone, flanking a whinetoiie ridge. The stratum is traversed by curved lines of a harder consistence, trending to the' westward, at a very high angle. There are numerous other small openings, of a similar character. One cave was
described sufficiently capacious to admit cattle for the purpose of licking. The smaller open- ings are evidently resorted to by innumerable kangaroos and wallaby-the neighbourhood being literally covered by their dung.
This discovery induced me to devote farther time in tracing its extent. Being previously aware that many of the wells sunk at the sheep stations gave brackish water, I proceeded across the plains in the direction of the general strike of the strata, south thirty degrees to where the sandstone was also largely developed, and at Macquarie Gap, a distance of twenty-one miles from the forementioned locality, found salt under precisely similar circumstances-the Bandstone itself both below and above being highly saliferous, sufficiently so as to render it capable of being used in an extensive manufacture of
The brackish character of the water in the wells on the plains at a very moderate depth, leads to an opinion that deep borings would probably give origin to brine springs.
Upon this second visit to Mangullia, another and much thicker stratum of coal than that
previously described was observed, probably
several feet thick.
In the neighbourhood of the Macquarie Gap,
although I did not succeed in finding coal, there can be no doubt of its occurrence below, as I found several very beautiful fossil plants in the argillaceous shales, which are invariably super- imposed npon coal seams.
I bave been thus particular in the topogra- phical occurrence of the few rocks which appear over so large an area as that described, for the purpose of proving that no valuable metallifer-
ous stores can have been overlooked.
The extent of country is nevertheless highly interesting in a geological point of view. The immensity of igneous action is sufficient to ac- count for the rich productiveness of the western and northern gold fields. Let these vast ranges of granite and trappean rocks be considered the great batteries employd in working nature's magnetic, galvanic, or electro-chemical labora- tories of the adjoining country, and it will be at once conceded that large breadths must be un- productive, to give room for the adjuncts ne- cessary to the fulfilment of her laws : although, as stated, deficient in the more valuable metallic ores, still we have evidence of other mineral wealth of a more enduring character, viz., coal,
iron, &c, which may ultimately, as in the mother country, give employment to thousands when the golden days shall have passed.
The Hon. the Colonial Socretary.