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THE STEWART ISLAND TIN DISCOVERIES.

Although Alford Forest has not fulfilled the high hopes once entertained of its proving the Cornwall of . New Zealand, there appears to be every reason to believe that the colony possesses large and rich deposits of tin, and, curiously enough, as m the Old Country, at its extremest Southern limit. There is now no doubt that this valuable* metal exists m quantity at Stewart's Island, and there are also indications of the probability of lodes being discovered on the mainland also. From a very interesting article on the subject m the " Southland Times " we gather that the locality of the lodes m Stewart's Island, which have been visited by Professor Black, is on the Southern extremity of the Remarkable Mountains, 1700 feet above the sea level, about 1400 feet above an alluvial goldfield, and about three miles from ! Port Pegasus. In the Professor's own words " the plaoe seems to be a small edition of Cornwall. Granite is the containing rock, while the lodes and stream deposits are similar to those found m the part of England named. The accompanying minerals—wolfram, barytes, white mica, etc,, etc. —are also similar and the stone bears a general resemblance to the museum specimens from Cornwall, Mount Bischoff, and other well-kaown tin producing places." Professor Black has brought over with him a number of splendid specimens from the lodes, which experts, who have examined them, declare to be extremely rich m metal, it being estimated that some of the best will yield 75 per cent, of tin. It is confidently expected that the ore will be found to exist m vast quantity, and, if 00, it is quite on the cards that Stewart's Island will be found to contain a second Mount Bischoff. It is not surprising, therefore, that as the result of the news numerous applications have been made for mining areas and prospecting licenses, the numbers granted and issued since the discovery of tin being. 34 and 71 respectively. Already Tasmania, Victoria, and New South Wales prospecting parties have been attracted to the scene, together with Southlanders and others, but the cream of the stream and lode tin claims have, it appears, been secured by the latter—being m the hands of two parties, viz., Swain and party, and Smith, Swain, and party. " Next to his own associates the Professor gives the palm for energy and activity to the Tasmanian party, and states that they were invariably second on the good ground and pegged out alongside his own selections. He says he cannot understand the tactics of the Sydney prospectors who only arrived three days ago, just three weeks after the pegging out on the alluvial ground began, and one week after the lodes were discovered. The professor regrets this dilatoriness, as he has a high opinion of the enterprise of the Sydney people generally, and would like to see them represented by a more energetic body of prospectors than they seem to have secured. The Victorian men have, he thinks, been fooling their time away down south at the base of the eminences known as Gog and Magog and on the adjoining flats. From all accounts yet received they have not been successful m their search. Several parties from Half Moon Bay have done a great amount of hard work m prospecting claims m the neighborhood of those first pegged out, but what success has attended their efforts has not transpired. The energy shown by other Stewart Island and Bluff parties certainly merits better results than have jet been attained. Persons who have been on the spot state that the valuable find is almost wholly m the hands of Southlanders, who with the Tasmanians may be said to be virtually m full possession of tbe field. Since the discovery of the lodes several syndicates have been formed m Invercargill, all of which have placed themselves under the guidance of Professor Black." It iB, therefore, evident that the full extent and capabilities of the mines will be speedily known and turned to account, and it is heartily to he hoped that the result of the discoveries made will be the establishment of a large and lucrative tin-mining industry. Fortunately the position of the lodes already found leaves nothing to be desired on the score of accessibility, the harbor of Port Pegasus being, says our contemporary, " probably the fineßt m the colony, one which could more than accommodate an immense fleet of tho largest vessels afloat, while it is estimated that a tramway can be constructed to a place convenient to the lodes for £500 or £600. To erect the proper plant for smelting, etc, would probably cost about £6000, but even if this work ia not undertaken at present the ore can be shipped to Launceston where it will fetch from £30 to £60 per ton. Should, however, the smelting operations ,be carried on at Pegasus a practically inexhaustible supply of fuel is avilable, and that of the kind—rata, or ironwood —most suitable for the purpose. Thus all the surrounding circumstances seem > to favor the development of the mineral t resources of the locality, and there i appears to be little difiipultv m the way t of commenciDg and continuing ppefa-

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http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18890129.2.22

Bibliographic details

THE STEWART ISLAND TIN DISCOVERIES., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2049, 29 January 1889

Word Count
872

THE STEWART ISLAND TIN DISCOVERIES. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2049, 29 January 1889

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