The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. FRIDAY, MAY 31, 1889. THE IRON INDUSTRY IN NEW ZEALAND.
Possessed as is this Colony oi practically inexhaustible stores of iron ore — at Collingwood m Nelson, and elsewhere, not to speak ot the enormous quantities of titaniferous sand which compose the beaoh for miles and miles upon the shore of the North Island, and possessing also as it does ooal of the finest quality m the greatest abundance —often m close proximity to the iron mines, there are present all the conditions which are required to make New Zealand a great iron-manufacturing country, It is claimed that at Taranaki they have at laßt solved the problem of smelting the iron sand successfully, but whether or not this be the case, there is plenty of iron ore elsewhere obtainable which oan be treated by the ordinary methods of smelting, with the result of producing iron of the finest quality. And we are glad to see that this is about to be done at Onehunga on an extensive ecale, tho "Australasian Ironmonger" for the current month contributing the following interesting aeoount oi the iron-works at that place:— -" An inspection of these works will well repay the visitor for the time spent, and surprise is manifested by everyone who pays a visit to Mr Hughes, the present manager. The works are now nearly completed, and m a few weeks will be ready to turn out all kinds of bar iron from f round to 8 x f ; also sheet iron of the most general sizes. Added to this, a plant for galvanising iron, now m transit from England, with men who are experienced m rolling sheets, will soon be attached. The plant and arrangements are very good, and give the impression that all the iron New Zealand requires could there be manufactured. The machinery consists of one 80 h.p., two 50 h.p., and one twelve horse power engine, two rolling mills with a host of rolls for all sizes of bars, a complete set of sheet rolls, two steam hammers, two shearing machines, one cut-off circular saw, and four furnaces, which are acting very satisfactorily. Attached to the mill is a foundry and fitting shop, where the company have made all the castings necessary for fixing machinery, floor plates, eto, and are now casting more heavy rolls with sundry goods. Fire bricks are also being; made of very superior quality on the premises. These bricks are very favourably received by the trade, and meet with ready sale, completely stopping importation. In the yard we find large piles of ; scrap iron with about &Q0 tonß of billet, ! while the rack contains about 300 tons if finished bars. It is gratifying to fjnd *; . on the market is of ex* Sn^SfiW ™ ll manufactured, m cellent quality anu,. -*~ imported many instances preferred tv . w *v^ bars. Attention is now being given by , the company to blast furnaces, with the prospect of ultimately shutting out imported pigs. Iron ore of various quali- ' ties, with iron sand is obtainable m almost limitless supply. It is perhaps safe to predict that within a short time these works will be able to turn out every bar and ordinary sheet with the great bulk of the corrugated iron that the country requires. About 50 men are at present employed. The oapaoity of the works when completed will be about 800 tons weekly. Bucket and tub making, axles, and various other lines are anticipated, so that m the near future ' Sleepy Hollow/ as Onehunga hoB been designated, has a fair prospect of becoming a busy manufacturing centre."