REMARKS BY >IR. WRAGGE. Speaking of the wonders of radium at the Choral Hall last evening, during the course of his lecture on "A Voyage Through the Universe," Mr. Clement Wragge, F.R.G.S., the well-known meteoTologist, remarked that he had noticed the discovery of new coal seajns in the North Auckland district, and he would ask why it -was not possible .that there pitchblende would be found? The value of radium, now £3,200,000 per pound avoirdupois, had enormously advanced after the Austrian Government had ruled that no more pitch-blende was to be exported, and now the mines in Cornwall and elsewhere .were ibeing examined in the search for additional supplies. If those engaged in prospecting for coal at W-hangarei, could but find a, mine of pitch-blende, the gift of a Dreadnought to the nation would be as nothing in comparison. He considered pitch-blende, if ever discovered in New Zealand, would be found North of Auckland. Mr. Wragge states that he would emphasise his ibelief that pitchblende exists in New Zealand —probably in that portion of the 'Dominion which is north from Auckland. "If so," he says, "there is radium contained therein. Think what such a discovery would mean to the Empire! The value of radium has enormously increased since Austria has prohibited the exportation otf pitchblende. The cost of radium ibromide is now £9 for one milligram, or 1-67 th part of a grain. Think "what this means per ounce and per pound avoirdupois! One ton of pitch-blende may contain £ 500 in radium. The pitch-blende mines in Cornwall are now toeing exploited, and why should not New Zealand be prospected? When we think of the new Radium Institute in London, of which the King is patron, for the cure of cancer and skin diseases, and of tbe enormous strides in the study of radio-activity, there is all the more reason why prospectors in New Zealand should wake up and bestir themselves. .If desired I can, explain the methods of testing rocks for the presence of radium."
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