The Argus at KellyGang 22/8/1860
BEECHWORTH MINING DISTRICT (SPRING CREEK.)-Alluvial miners, 2.290; quartz, 20; Chinese, 2,139; showing a decrease since last month of 870 Europeans, and an increase of 539 Chinese. The nature of the diggings in this district is almost entirely alluvial-nine-tenths of which are under 30 feet in depth. There are many quartz-reefs but they are almost untouched, except two or three at Myrtleford. At Bowman's Forest the lead has only been defined up to the 10th claim.
SNAKE VALLEY AND YACKANDANDAH DIVISION.-Alluvial miners, 3,550; quartz, 16. Chinese (alluvial), 1,200. With an ample supply of water, raceholders have been very busy, in the Nine-mile Division, the most important work in operation is that of the Ovens Water Company, on which 142 men ore employed opening up the springs, excavating the tunnel, &c. On Hurdle Flat sluices are in full operation, and the bed of the Nine-Mile Creek is being reworked. In the Yackandandah division water is plentiful. Two new quartz reefs have been discovered-one on Twist's Creek, and the other on the range on the northern side of Clear Creek. The stone looks very well. Eleven acres are to be surveyed as a site for a reservoir for a party requiring a lease.
INDIGO DIVISION.-Alluvial miners, 2,285; quartz, 140; Chinese (alluvial), 2,000. There is nothing to report of the main lead, except that a few parties have taken up claims as for old and abandoned ground; and it is probable, with abundance of water, much of the old leads might be made to pay if leases were granted to the miners. A claim nearly opposite the Devonshire load has just struck a gutter of more than average richness, and it is supposed to be at the junction of the two leads. The Hit-or-Miss claim, supposed to be at the junction of the Caledonian and Indigo leads, has got a payable prospect. The Durham lead is found to be patchy all through, and the poorer claims are being turned over to the Chinese. The Kincardineshire still produces good wages. A few claims on the Victoria Lead are being worked with indifferent success. The Adelaide Load is like all in the dis trict, patchy; the lower part, as it approaches the Indigo lead, is the best, and the wash-dirt averages 1oz. to the load. At Chiltern the Oriental claim has struck gold; 60 tons of quartz were crushed last month, producing 1oz. 18dwt to the ton; 21 tons from the Maiden Reef, near Cornish Town, averaged 3oz. to the ton; a further quantity of 22 tons were insufficient to pay expenses. The cost of crushing has been from 20s. to 30s. per ton, according to agreement. Many miners are en route for the Snowy.
BUCKLAND Division.-But little alteration has taken place in this division. Quartz-mining on the Nelson Reef will not pay for steam power and a water-wheel is being erected. Another quartz reef, in a small creek running into the river at the centre of the diggings, has been found to be auriferous. The reef lying below the alluvial diggings is still being prospected, but no report has been made of it. Another reef showing rich specimens is discovered, but the locality is a secret. Surface quartz abounds on these ranges, and some large roofs crop out. Some rich specimens have been picked up. Water for crushing power is abundant for ten months in the year. During the month an association for prospecting quartz has been formed, and one or two private parties are out for the same purpose.
Quartz mining prospers in the Ovens River district, and now reefs are being discovered weekly though but a small quantity of quartz has been crushed during the month compared with the machinery in the district. A water crushing-mill to drive eight stumpers is being erected on Richard- son's Reef, Growler Creek, but no more than six or eight weeks motive power will be obtained this season. Little is doing at the alluvial diggings. The parties at work are engaged in sluicing, and are getting moderate wages. Very good prospects have been got from the river bed in dry seasons. The resident mining population is steadily on the increase; but this is no place for a rush, unless now ground is opened, and so little capital is invested, that labour is not in demand.
The population is as follows:- Alluvial miners, 700: quartz, 474. Chinese, 560. Out of 21 machines and engines, 10 are idle. On Mead s Reef, the greater number of the par- ties are raising quartz and awaiting the completion of the Enterprise Company's machinery. On the Elgin Reef, the second reef has not yet been struck. The quartz from the lower part of the reef did not yield so well as the higher part; but the entire of Stevens and Co.'s claim has yielded on average of 18oz per ton. In the prospector's claim, there is a large body of quartz on the cap of the roof, expected to yield 15dwt, to the ton. The stone has not averaged more than 6oz. per ton. Gander 's Reef, 3ft in width has averaged 6oz. per ton. Woolshed Reef is expected to prove one of the best reefs; a quarter share has sold for £600. West Briton, Cornishman's, and Welcome Reefs are leaking well.
The prospectors of Victoria Reef are opening out on the course of the vein, and expect to find it payable. The prospectors on the Pioneer Reef have struck a small leader, and are in hopes of being repaid for their six months' labour. Of the other reefs, no report can be made, but they are expected to turn out payable.
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