Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The Mines of New South Wales 1897

The total output of coal in the colony for the year 1896 is officially recorded as 3,999,517 tons, valued at £1,125,280, while prior to 1829 the total amount produced was 50,000 tons, valued at £25,000.
The increase for last year on the preceding twelve months was 170,927 tons, and with the exception of the yield in 1891, which was 4,037,929 tons, the output was the highest for any year since the opening of the coal fields in 1829. 
Excerpt from The Mines of New South Wales 1897

Captain James Cook discovered New South Wales (NSW) in 1770 when he traveled along the unmapped eastern coast of Australia. NSW was originally a part of The Colony of New South Wales, a British penal colony that covered half of the Australian mainland, New Zealand and other islands in the Pacific Ocean. Coal mining in NSW began in the 1790s, but soon other minerals were discovered like copper, gold, tin, diamonds and much more.

When groundwater becomes an obstacle when digging deeper underground, pumps can remove the unwanted water from the mine. Dewatering often causes environmental problems when acid mine drainage can seep into the waterways. 

C. W. Carpenter compiled a mining manual for NSW, The Mines of New South Wales 1897. The book was published by George Robertson & Co. A copy from the New York Public Library was digitized by Google. It is available on the Internet Archive, a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more.. 

The book contains an overview of more than 1,300 mines grouped by mining district (MD) 
Albert, Bathurst, Clarence & Richmond, Cobar, Hunter & Macleay, Lachlan, Mudgee, New England, Peel & Uralla, Southern MD, Tambaroora and Turon, Tumut and Adelong.

Topics covered in several smaller chapters :
Batteries and Ore Reducing Works, Exploration Flotation and Promoting Companies, Cinnabar, Coal & Shale, Cobalt, Copper, Diamonds, Emeralds, Gold, Iron, Opals, Platinum, Shale, Silver & Lead, Tin.

Though not always where the reader expects it in the book, alphabetical indexes are included :
  • Mines
  • Legal Managers & Secretaries
  • Mine Managers
  • Mining Officials and Wardens
  • Mining Patents

The New Australian Broken Hill Consols, Limited
Stock certificate for shares of £1, issued 1899
This certificate was sold in Mario Boone's April 2017 auction for €80. 
image courtesy Mario Boone  

One of the companies listed in the book is The New Australian Broken Hill Consols, Limited. The company owned silver-lead properties in the Broken Hill area in the Albert Mining District. The three signatures on the certificate can easily be identified from the book :
  • Director : Standish Grady
  • Director : John Henry Ward (Chairman)
  • Secretary : F. Hartman

No doubt about it, the book is a valuable reference for anyone interested in Australian mining scripophily. You can find a downloadable PDF version of the book on the Internet Archive here. However, that version is (currently?) not searchable. If you want to search the volume on key words, then you can use this link


No comments:

Post a Comment