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During the past month a number of men have been employed on the above company’s claim. First a race, about a quarter of a mile long, was constructed from a dam known as Messrs Anderson and party’s, to bring the water on to the flat adjoining the. claim formerly held by Mr Wbodhouse. Besides cutting the race, which is six feet wide and carries some eighteen heads of water, the party—about seven—have slniced away a large piece of ground ; and the work done cannot but be pronounced most satis* factory for a month’s operations. With plenty of water, even in the ordinary way of sluicing, good headway will be made, and it is satisfactory to note the prospects are encouraging. Though a long way from the true wash, signs of the precious metal are not wanting, and there are layers which would pay handsomely for hydraulic sluicing. The wash, when reached, is expected to turn out excellent dividends ; in fact it is well known that in this locality, where the bottom was got in the past, the prospects were really first-class. The large works which the company intend to construct—such as a large dam at Dismal Swamp, water races, laying of pipes, and erection of machinery—will be gone on with in due course, but the present season is rather unfavorable for the work; but the company will find plenty to do in the meantime, as there is a large extent of ground that can be profitably sluiced away into the river by the aid of the splendid water supply which is now to be had consequent on the amalgamation of the water rights of those in the company who formerly worked single-handed. On Wednesday last Mr Pyke, M.H.R., Mr Rawlins, M.E., and several other gentlemen attended at the company’s property, when a little ceremony was gone through. After viewing the workings, the party assembled, and Mr Pyke turned the sod in each of the claims included in the company’s property, and formally took them over in the name of the Roxburgh Amalgamated Mining and Sluicing Company. After this had been effected the basket of champagne was introduced, and success to the cpmpany drunk in flowing bumpers. Success was also drunk to the visitors, including Mr C. Rawlins (of the Island Block Company) and Mr W, Peters (formerly manager of Gabriel Gully Sluicing Company), Mr Pyke referred to the Island Block venture, and hoped the introduction of capital would be the means of opening up a profitable goldfield there. Mr Rawlins dwelt on the grand prospect in store for the company. He had inspected some of the workings, and was surprised at the extent of the wash and the handsome prospects obtained. Mr said he was a miner of many years’ experience, and he was greatly struck with the favorable appearance of the ground. From the examination he had made, he was quite satisfied that with the proper appliances the ground could be very profitably worked.

[A prospect washed out from some staff taken about Sit from the bottom showed very good results, and the opinion was unanimously expressed that with hydraulic sluicing the returns from the ground would be very large.]

Mr Pyke said : I am here to day to perform a very important function. lam here to take possession of one of the richest and most valuable “gravel claims ” in all New Zealand—probably in all the world—on behalf of the Roxburgh Amalgamated Mining and Sluicing Company. Yon have heard from Mr Rawlins, the manager of the Island Block Company, and from Mr Peters, who has been engaged in mining enterprise for seventeen years, what their deliberate opinion is of the value of the ground, 1 feel assured that my great grand-children will thank me for securing an interest in it. As to the beneficial effect of amalgamating such claims there is evidence below our feet. The claimholders have put in their waterpower in one direction. Look at the result in the immense gap they have already made in the terrace. What will it be when the fifty additional heads are brought in from the Dismal Swamp ? By the way I propose to re christen that same swamp. Owing to circumstances we have proceeded slowly, and I propose to name the swamp, Lake Onslow, a name of good omen. As yon know, this swamp, which is our reservoir, is situated 2,800 ft above sea level. Well, in consequence of the senseless, malicious, and purposeless opposition shown to our getting a grant of the Dismal Swamp as a dam, we are prevented from undertaking the work of erecting the dam-bank until next summer. The region is snow-clad and ice-bound just now. That is how our opponents, by their perverse action, have set back the development of the mining industries of the district. Then we have had two other troubles to contend with. In the first place no alluvial or “ gravel claim” has heretofore been placed on the market—it is a new thing to Dunedin folk. They have put their money in quartz, and in nine cases out of ten they lose it. The reason is as easily demonstrated as a mathematical problem. Quartz may be rich on the surface, but what sensible man would buy a house if he were presented with a brick as a sample? The quartz may “peter out” within a foot; there is no certainty of its continuance. But in the case of a'gravel claim there is no uncertainty. You can tell almost exactly how much gold there is in every cubic yard of wash, with always the chances of rich underground patches. Why, where we stand now, from above yonder bend an old and wide river bed once existed, and we are even now just tapping it in our frontage claims. Numerous deposits of the precious metal are lying underneath our feet—where we now stand—only awaiting the application of capital to unearth it. But it is too near Dunedin for the Dunedin people to take any interest in it. They send away their thousands to bolster up West Coast speculations, because “ distance lends enchantment to the view ”; but they have not the sanse—or, as the Chinaman would say, the “ savee ” —to invest their own money within their own border to develop the mines that are within Otago, By-and-bye, when English capitalists have absorbed all our best alluvial gold mines, the short sighted people of Dunedin will discover that the most permanent and payable gold properties in the world have passed out of their hands through their own indolence and apathy. Then look at our magnificent water privileges. My presence and my mission here .to-day signalises the triumph of enterprise over theold“dot-and-carry-one”systemcherißhed by fossils of the old mining class. Fortunately common sense prevailed in our Courts of law, and the shareholders of the, company now stand possessed of one of the finest mining properties in New Zealand, the water privileges alone of which mean a fortune of incalculable value. Think of a dam three and a-half miles long, and in the centre one mile wide, with a big river running through it! Gentlemen, it is needless to say more. I shall now propose “ Success and prosperity to the Roxburgh Amalgamated MiningCompany.”—(Cheers.)

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