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Notes from Wakatipu. (From Our Own Correspondent.)

Aruow, October 13.— -Want of water is making itself fait in almost every part of the district. Mr Hotop, Government meteorologist at Queenstown, reporti that during August O'TSin and during September o'72in of rain fell. I believe ib is safe to say that such a record is without a precedent in these parts, where August and September are the wettest months in the year. The effect is notable in many ways, Swampß that had never been known to fail are drying up completely, and the reeds and swamp grass are dying off. Unless rain comes shortly there will be a very marked falling off in the escort returns from our looftl mines, where now more sluicing operations on an extended scale are carried on than ever. Indeed, it may ba said that not a drop of water is allowed to run to waste, but is all utilised, and it is safe to add that water never was so valuable as it is at present, that is to speak independently of the prevailing drouth. Many miners will recollect the time when water was held to be of little value, and when extended claims and leases were in the ascendant; now the reverse is the case. Water is the fancy property of the miner, and ground to which to apply it is a oecondary consideration. This fact shows that mining is progressive, for the change has been brought about by improved appliances, better methods of working, and also by the introduction of a more intelligent method of eaviDg fine gold. As this development of mining knowledge goes on more and more ground willba brought uuder operation, and the industry will grow in importance to the colony. In a measure this healthy development ib due to the Witness, which has been the medium of free intercommunication between the miners, and is likely in the future to be of still greater use, as the growing importance of the mining industry will lead to a greater and more intelligent interest being taken in it. Since wiiting the above there has been a very welcome rain, replenishing the springs and causing to run once more many creeks which have been dry for months, gladening the heart cf the miners generally. Quartz mining is moving along quiet ly, and with an increased water supply patties with quartz at grass will be able to extend their operations.

The Sunrise Company are pushing things ahead with all due speed. Contracts have been let for carting and erecting the machinery and for cult'ng the water race ; and tenders are now called for sleighing down the quartz already procured to the Premier battery, where the stone is proposed to be crushPd, until the company's own battery ia finished. The site for the machine has been cut out, and i 3 ready for its recaption. The Premier Company ■wiU ba ready to make a start with crushing this week, and would have baen nearly ready, only that the last rain made the road from the paddock to the battery impassable by some slips coming down, which will take a few days to clear away. I hear that the company are again calling for tenders for the low level tunnel, and this time in a Dunedin evening paper, a style of paper which is probably the least read by miners The directory cannot be complimented on the manner in which they have gone to work over this business. More than a month ba3 now elapsed since the time when teuders were called first, and that is so much lost time. For other reasons it would have been better to have called for tenders either in the local paper or the Witness, where the want would have been seen by men who ate likfly to give the most satisfaction, so far as doing the work itself is concerned. It seems the quantity of smelted gold obtained from the Phoenix mine was the product of 300 tons of stone, and not 600 tons, and the figures stand as follows:— 310oz of smelted gold from 300 tons of stone. In dredgins; matters there is nothing fresh to report, but as there are now seven dredges at work in this district, results ought to be heard of shortly. Up to the present the accounts of mishaps and breakages quite outweigh any other kind of news in the dredging line.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/OW18901016.2.28.4

Bibliographic details

Notes from Wakatipu. (From Our Own Correspondent.), Otago Witness, 16 October 1890

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739

Notes from Wakatipu. (From Our Own Correspondent.) Otago Witness, 16 October 1890

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