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THE LAKE DISTRICT.

{(IROH THE DAILY lISIBS CORRESPONDENT. ) 12th April.

The weather has set in cold and wintry during the last few days, and heavy rain has fallen at intervals ; the higher ranges appear covered with snow to such a depth apparently as will preclude their losing it again this season. The rivers are higher th«m usual to-day, but have not risen to any extent at all likely to interfere with mining operations. The rush, as far as this district is concerned, is fairly at an end. Very discouraging letters have been received ; and a few of our old hands are back again sadder but wiser men. We may hope soon to see the gaps in the ranks of our mining population filled up, either by new blood, or by more returning prodigals. We are actually shorthanded at present for the ground in occupation, and wages men are difficult to get at any price. Quartz mining is likely to be developed here in a very extensive way. At Skipper's Creek (Upper Shotover) four quartz companies have registered their claims — the Scandinavian, the British and American, the Otago Quartz Mining Company, and the Golden Company. The first of these have repaired their rude machinery, and had a successful crushing— sending down a cake of nearly 200oz; while two out of the other three have made arrangements to have first-class machinery on the ground early in spring. The prosj;ectors of the Golden Company obtained nearly 20oz in one week, by simply breaking up a portion of the casing of tbe reef with a hammer. The Arrow Company are likely to be in working order in a few days, as the preliminaries are arranged and signed for the making over the claim to twenty shareholders, who will subscribe LIOO each to the capital of L2OOO. The reef will first be thoroughly prospected so as to ascertain its durabilit}-, and should the result prove satisfactory, the company will be duly registered under the Joint Stock Companies Act,.and the necessary machinery placed without delay on the ground. Three parties are working in the bed of Skippeis, and have met with more than average success ; especially Ferguson and party, who obtained an ll oz. nugget last week in the course of their washing up. The large sluicing parties in the same locality have been fairly successful, though they are not said to have realised the splendid returns anticipated. Frcm other parts of the Sho'.over, there is no very definate information, but all are said to be doing well, who have stuck to their claims. The Big Beach Co. (Arthur's Point), are actively prosecuting their work, and it is to be hoped that no impediment will be thrown in the way of their obtaining a a lease; the nature of the ground applied for renders its successful working in small claims impossible, and here and elsewhere, the Government should do all in their power to encourage the employment of co-operative labor and capital. Robertson and Co., who were disappointed in their application for a site for a flour mill on the Kawarau Falls, have now applied in the Arrow District for a grant of the site immediately below the waterfall in Hayes' Creek, so as to render available the very considerable force of water thence obtainable. The erection cf a flour mill ■will be of great benefit to the whole district, and we must hope 3gainst hope that the spirited projectors will not again be disappointed/ Mr Doyle, of Frankron Flat, has proved by his splendid crop just garnered that wheat can be most profitably grown here ; and it is high time that the " rush" prices, which still prevail, should give way to those more reasonably suited to a district available for the highest cultivation The expediency of encouraging Chinese immigration has been seriously considered by the business people and employers of labor in the district. The former probably look at the matter in the light that any population is better than none at all ; and the latter are just now seriously inconvenienced by the difficulty of obtaining wages men. I r is questionable, however, whether any real benefit would result to either party. It must be remembered that the Chinese deal exclusively with their own countrymen for stores, &c, and also that they have no more affection than other diggers for working for wages when there is any valuable ground to be got hold of. It is certainly contrary to all r'ght principles of political economy to restrain by legal enactments the importation of labor ; but it is a question whether it might not be better to bide our time until the great natural resources of the province bring, as they are sure to do, a swarm of our own countrymen to settle on the land, rather than yield to the pressure of immediate circumstances and encourage the introduction of a people who are notoriously, almost without exception, bad men and bad citizens. Several stores have been stuck-up lately in this district, and evidently by a practical hand, the work having been done in a very scientific manner, probably the

same party who has been making a predatory tour through tbe lower diggings, is now giving us a turn. The police are on the alert, and it is to be hoped will soon lodge the gentleman in Queenstown Gaol. Mr Houghton, who contested the last election for the Provincial Council, when he stood second on the poll to Mr Mouatt, has expressed his intention of coming forward as a candidate for the seat in the Legislative Assembly, vacant by the resignation of Captnin Baldwin. Mr Joseph Borton, late chief gold receiver in Dunedin, has been appointed Gold Receiver and Clerk of the Court, at the Arrow, vice MrE. Macindoe, resigned.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/OW18650422.2.8

Bibliographic details

THE LAKE DISTRICT., Otago Witness, Issue 699, 22 April 1865

Word Count
964

THE LAKE DISTRICT. Otago Witness, Issue 699, 22 April 1865

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