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THE VALUE OF OTAGO GOLD.

We have before us the returns of two, parcels of Otago gold, melted and assayed at the Sydney mint. Taking the original quantity before melting and assaying, and dividing it into the final product, the value for one parcel is £3 18s. 6d. per ounce, and of the other £3 18s. 2d. per ounce. Seeing that they assay exactly the same, and that the loss in melting varies so slightly as only to make a difference of Id. per ounce, one is justified in assuming that they are fair samples of the product of the Otago gold-fields. We will now see what the cost amounts to of transmitting the gold to Sydney, including payment of all expenses. The export duty amounts to 2s. 6'd., the freight to 3d., the insurance to fths per cent, (equal to about 3^d.), and incidental charges for boats, boxes, &c., supposing the shipment to be of a moderate quantity, amount to' less than Id. per ounce. This gives us as follows: Export duty 2s. 3d. Insurance and freight. ..... 6§d. Incidental charges ........ Id. Total 3s. Hd.peroz. Deduct 3s. ljd. from £3 18s. 2d., the least of the two results at the Sydney Mint, and we have the round sum of £B 15s. 03d., left as the value of Otago gold. Is it to be wondered at that diggers carry their gold away when they are getting only from 3s. 11s. 3d. to £3 12s. 3d. for it, or 2s. 9d. to Bs. 9d. less than its value 2 There are incidental profits in the purchase of gold that make it worth the Banks' while to procure it with little or no direct profit. It affords them the means of circulating their notes, and they make a profit equal to 9d. an ounce on the rate of exchange they charge for drawing against the gold. They save, besides, about Id. an ounce out of the export duty, as they substitute lefined gold for the raw dust on which they pay the duty. We state plain facts ; it is hardly necessary to add how injurious it is to the interests of the Province that the value of its chief product should be so much depreciated. We are willing to believe the purchasers of gold are not aware how much less they are paying for it than its value, and that they will lose no time in raising the price. If the local Government were to establish an Assay Office, and receive gold in payment of the public revenue at its proper value, the notes issued by the banks would be forced to a discount. The banks should remember the terms of their charters, and not pursue a policy which invites a course of self-defence, that would be ruinous to their interests. We hope we shall be enabled at once to announce a rise in the price given for gold. On the principle of " better late than never," we ought to be highly gratified that the Bank of New South Wales has, at last, consented to give a return of the amount of gold remaining on deposit on account of the Government escort. It appears that the balance on hand from the Waitahuna gold field, on the 12th December, is 12,325 ozs. 10 dwts., and at the same date, from the Tuapeka gold field, 34,620 ozs. 18 dwts. making a total from the two places of 46,946 ozs. 9 dwts. The amount of gold that has come down by escort is 177,624 ozs., so that more than 25 per cent, of the total produce yet remains on deposit, besides the immense quantity still resting in the hands of the miners. These figures effectually prove that the miners are not working for mere subsistence wages. Here we have an amount of something like £160,000 accumulated in a few months into the hands of an entirely fresh body of capitalists. This is better than Victoria, where the miners have to sell their few pennyweights ■weekly to purchase the cost of subsistence. i The s,s. Oscar", which sailed yesterday for Melbourne, took 9,984 ozs. of gold ; the Hydra, also for Melbourne, takes 250 ozs. 7 dwts. The Customs' duties, received at this port yesterday, amounted to 9s. lid. The amount received during the week ending December 14th exceeds that of the similar period in 1860 by £1,933 2s. Id. The Customs' duties received at the Port of Dunedin, during the past week, are as follows :

The amount received for the corresponding period in 1860 was £412 15s. Id. We observe that the hard-labour prisoners are now engaged in widening the line of street round the beach to the Court House, and with the material thus obtained are reclaiming a small portion of the harbour near the same place. Something like a disturbance took place on Satuiday at Waitahuna. The accounts that have reached us are conflicting : some speak highly of the conduct of the police, others attribute unnecessary violence to them. It arose out of an attempt to arrest a drunken man, who resisted, and whose resistance was more or less abetted by a large crowd. Sergeant -Major Bracken, on horseback, charged the crowd with a drawn sword. We will shortly be in possession of further particulars. We would caution returning diggers against taking gold upon which the duty has not been paid, the consequences of detection are forfeiture of the gold, and a liability to a heavy fine in addition. We believe that the police have instructions to take the necessary steps to prevent the smuggling of gold in this manner ; and we must confess that, taking into consideration the fact that the property of miners is brought down at a great cost, by escort, and kept at the bank free of charge, we can have no sympathy with those who attempt to evade the payment of export duty. The Southampton took from Melbourne to Lon37,078 ozs. of 1 gold from New Zealand. This will be a conclusive proof to our English friends " that the New Zealand bubble has not burst," as the Age ventured to assert in its last extraordinary to England.

Monday, Dec. 9th £si4> 2 2 Tuesday, " 10th 567 15 4 Wednesday " 11th 177 3 5 Thursday, " 12th 50 12 10 today, " 13th 543 17 5 iaturday, " 14th 462 6 0 Total £2,345 17 2

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http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/TH18620111.2.12

Bibliographic details

THE VALUE OF OTAGO GOLD., Taranaki Herald, Volume X, Issue 493, 11 January 1862

Word Count
1,062

THE VALUE OF OTAGO GOLD. Taranaki Herald, Volume X, Issue 493, 11 January 1862

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