The State mining engineer has received the following report from Mr. E. K. Beaumont, the mining inspector for the Malcolm district:
In answer to your letter 108-89, dated 30th July, instructing me to visit, inspect and report on the Linden district in reference to the prospects of placing a State battery on that field. I have the honour to report I drove from Malcolm to Linden, inspecting mines en route at Murrin, Anaconda (Eulaminia), Morgans and Yundimindera and arrived at Linden on Saturday, 10th inst. and remained in the district until Tuesday, 13th inst., during which time I visited, inspected and made rough compass surveys of 19 prospecting mines, and am pleased to say the outlook of most of them is favourable. Two new finds in maiden country were made by prospectors whilst I was in the districts which is being scoured, napped and prospected for a radius of 12 miles from the old Linden townsite. The recent successes of several prospectors at the south end of the field about 12 miles from Linden, towards Mt. Cecilia, has given quite an impetus to mining and prospecting, operations, and men are arriving weekly from Murrin, Burtville and even Nullagine and the North-West. I am much impressed with the class of prospector on the field, and am sure they are the right stamp of men to open up a new field when there is anything to work on. They are mostly experienced men, who make prospecting their business, and come well equipped with horses, drays, tents, tools, and prospecting plant. One of the pioneer parties, Swanston Bros., drove down from Nullagine with eleven horses, several drays, and carts, and a good camp and prospecting outfit. The party is comprised of all experienced men, and have been on the field since April, and showed me receipts for £188 spent in stores and tools, explosives etc., during the five months they have been working their leases and prospecting areas. They have three of the best properties, viz., Wimmera, Democrat, Bell and Ard Patrick.
Another party, Rain and Caulon, showed me that they have expended £95 on their lease, and they have a most promising mine - Keystone - well opened up. These and other properties. which I will report separately, have gone on working and spending their small capital in the hope that when they had enough stone at grass a battery might be provided to treat it for them, without having to cart it to the Potosi battery at Yundamindera, a distance of 32 miles, which at £3 10/ per ton cartage renders some of the mines opened up (which, judging from the dolly pot and dish, prospects would average from 15 dwts. to the oz.) unprofitable unless they can get their stone treated within a few miles of the mines. I met three drays on the road going out, and there were several drays on the road carting stone to be crushed at Potosi battery from the Ethel mine at Linden, property of Corcoran Bros. Poor horses and grass fed, and over bush tracks. It can readily be seen the difficulties the prospectors are contending against, and also the grit of the men who take on the work, which would be almost impossible in summer, owing to the long stages between watering places.
In reference to a water supply for a battery Messrs. Corcoran and party, of the Ethel, near Linden, have a shaft 120 ft. deep, with 20 ft. of water in it, but as they are not crosscutting in, nor passed through the reef, and the workings have been abandoned for two years, it may be only surface soakage water, and would require proving.
I am enclosing a copy of a letter from Mr. W. S. Hill who owns a small ore crushing plant 210 chains south of Mt. Linden. His battery is too light for the work, only having 250 lb. stamps, and a 6 h.p. boiler is the only steam power, so he can only work 3 head, and that for short periods while the steam lasts. The lease is called the Great Carbine. He has a water shaft 80 ft. deep - a steam pump is installed at the 50 ft. level (which is water level in the mine), and there was 30 ft. of water in the well hole when I was there and the pump working. This locality appears, at first sight, to be the best for any proposed battery, as there is a splendid catchment at the Carbine Creek, which runs about 300 yards west of the water shaft, and a basin where a dam could cheaply be made. Mr. Hill also owns a fresh water well, equipped with windmill and tanks, about 3/4 mile away from his plant. This well is used as a pubic watering place. He mentioned that he would also allow this well to be used for boiler feed water. You will notice he asks for no payment nor concession of any kind, and I might add he has been living in the locality for several years past and has a vegetable garden and property, as well as working the Carbine mine.
There is a suitable site for a battery about 100 yards from the water shaft, easy grades of approach for carters, and a good fall away for residues, should the Department consider favourably the advisability of putting a battery in the Linden district. I would strongly recommend this site as being the best for all concerned, as it is three miles from Linden townsite. The most northerly mines, nine miles from the Kangaroo; Realm, Oldfield's new find, Westhed Bros., and other prospecting areas at the south end of the field, which are opening up well. Besides, if the battery were placed in Linden it would be very advantageous for those in that vicinity, but not so for the others nine miles south, or the Caledonia at Mt. Cecilia, whereas the site I beg to suggest would only be three miles from the north end of the field and lessen the distance of cartage from the south end by the same amount. I must point out, however, that the mines in the northern end are at present sunk deeper and more opened up and have more stone raised than those at the southern end, but these latter have bigger bodies of stone, and most of them are now finds within the last two or three months, and the holders stated they would be pushing on their shifts and development work as vigorously as their funds permitted. ...
(owner, W. S. Hill and Son*), about 2 1/2 miles south of Linden Trig, and three miles from townsite, on Carbine Creek. Has two shafts; work in the windlass shaft down to 50 ft. level, where sloping is being done and the ladder on pump shaft 80 ft. deep, having 30 ft. of water in the well, and a steam pump installed at 50 ft. level for drawing the workings and supplying a small battery with water. An east drive from the windlass shaft 20 ft. shows reef 3 ft. in face, and a west drive connects to the pump shaft at 66 ft.; strike of reef north 85 deg. west; also from the east drive a crosscut is in 12 ft., cutting another branch of the reef opened up for 10 ft. in length and two quartz reefs 3 ft. and 2 ft. wide in face, separated by a horse of country. It is from this stope that the crushing being put through the battery at the time of my visit had been taken, and though there is no stone at grass excepting that going through the battery, I could safely see over 100 tons in the backs awaiting extraction (only allowing for a height of 10 ft. of backs). ...
*William Samuel Hill and his son Leslie Lewis Hill (b. 1888)
The original article is available here.
Garry Gillard | New: 3 December, 2010 | Now: 6 January, 2018