Alexandra Times at KellyGang 11/6/1869 (3)

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"In addition to the above, a later discovery has been made of a distinct and apparently more important run of gold, named the Working Miners' Lend; in the same main gully, but commencing at a point some distance above the Eureka. This ground has been taken up a deep lend, in claims of large size, allowed under the Beechworth Mining Board bye-laws. At the time of my visit the following companies had bottomed their shafts on this lead; at depths varying from 95 to 100 feet from the surface: - The Golconds, holding eight men’s ground or 700 feet along the course of the lead, the Never Can Tell, 450 feet; the Golden Gate 720, feet; the Working Miners' 1530 feet; The Northern Star 720 feet; the Sons of Freedom 750 feet, and the Cosmopolitan 1440 feet. The claims of these seven companies adjoin each other in the order I have named and they extend over a length of about one, and a quarter miles of .the lead.

"The line of the shafts commences at upper end, in or near the bed of the gully and from thence runs onto a terrace of drift some distance from its eastern edge, and about 15 feet above it (the buildings of the township lie between the shafts on this terrace and the Eureka Lead in the gully) and the line terminates at the last shaft in the main valley of Godfrey's Creek, a little below Golden Point. It is said that two runs of gold have been found in the lead, lying side by side, separated only by a narrow bank of reef about 20 feet wide; the one on the eastern side named the Red Streak, and the other the White Streak, from the different colors of the washdirt. Excepting the Cosmopolitan, each company has driven across the course of the lead from 80 to 100 feet, but in no instance, it is said, has the width of the auriferous dirt yet been determined.

"The thickness of the washdirt varies from 1 ft. to 2ft 6in, and the yield in the upper claims is said to be about 1 oz. to the load, decreasing as the claims extend down the lead to about 7 or 8 dwt to the load. I had no means of personally verifying the actual yields, but my information from the mining managers was checked in several instances by persons who lately worked or partly owned some of the claims, but who have now no money interest in them.

"In speaking of the character of the sinking, I may observe that the rock formations in the locality are composed most exclusively of very argillaceous shales, and the drifts in the valleys of stiff retentive ferruginous clays, generally of a red or red and white color. There is a remarkable absence of sandy or shingle water hearing drifts in the whole of the shafts that have yet been bottomed on the gold field. On the Working Miners' (dry) lead, in the two shafts at the lower end, water was found at about 12 feet from the surface, but by pudding the backing they were sunk with little or no difficulty. In the other shafts on the same lead the sinking has through retentive clay down to the washdirt or immediately above it the lower stratum consisting of clay with broken shale and a little quartz, and this appears to be the only important water bearing drift. At one or two of the shafts baling is effected by means of the windlass and in each of the others by a horse whip and hide bucket, containing about fifty gallons. The wettest claims on the Working Miners' lead are at the upper end, where the time occupied in balling out the walls is about eight in twenty-four. The whole of the claims on the goldfield have hitherto been worked by manual, or by manual and horse power combined, and although the employment of light steam machinery may by advantageous in pumping and raising washdirt on the larger claims and in padding it, it is certain that no mining difficulty need, be experienced in working out any of the areas at present tested, and shafts may anywhere be readily sunk.


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