Here the Le Roi mine is situated, respecting the administration of which there is so much agitation at the time of writing, but which is undoubtedly a rich and promising mine, provided the management is honest and capable. The Le Roi and the War Eagle are the two richest mines on the field. More work has been done on them than on any other mines, and they have been opened up to much greater depths. At these depths it is encouraging to find that the reefs show no falling off either in size or value. Shareholders in these companies should take particular note of the working costs, which are inclined to be heavy, or else they may swallow up the profits.

The Le Roi is the principal mine in which English shareholders are interested, and it bids fair to be one of the foremost mines in the world. The company was promoted by the British America Corporation, the recent revelations of which have startled and disgusted us not a little. It was floated as recently as 1898, with an authorized capital of £1,000,000, in 200,000 shares of £5 each, all of which have been issued and are fully paid. It has paid one dividend, that of 5s. per share in October, 1899, but when the next will be paid is a matter of conjecture. Probably the report for the past year will be issued before the publication of this book, but it will be too late for me to notice it. At the moment of writing there is a movement on foot amongst many of the large shareholders for the removal of Mr. Whitaker Wright from the directorship of the company, consequent upon the disclosures of the Official Receiver in his examination into the affairs of the British America Corporation and Standard Exploration, but Mr. Wright has resigned, and a new directorate will conduct the company's affairs in the future.

At any rate, amongst the list of British Columbian shares, those of the Le Roi can be recommended both to the speculator and the investor. The latter must, first of all, make himself assured that the company will be honestly administered, and that the mine itself will be worked economically. At present work is stopped, owing to a strike, and there is no foreseeing how long it will last, nor what effect it will have upon the immediate fortunes of the company. The speculator will always find an active market in the share, even in times of dulness, and whether the rest of the British Columbian market is depressed or not. Therefore it is a share he may watch and study with advantage.

The lesser output from the West Kootenay district during 1900 was due chiefly to a falling off in the production from the Trail Creek gold-field, which produced only $2,739,300, as compared with $3,229,086 in 1899. On the other hand, the Slocan division improved from $1,740,372 to $2,063,908, but was, nevertheless, below the 1898 output. In contrast with the falling off from West Kootenay, there was, it will be seen, a great advance made by the East Kootenay district. Hitherto this district was kept very much in the background, and it is difficult to understand this great and sudden augmentation of its output. The Yale district also advanced to a marked extent. This district is being gradually developed, and many experts consider that it will eventually turn out to be one of the richest and most important in the colony. Railway communication has recently been established with this district, which will assist its future development. There are an immense number of claims held here, all waiting to be developed, and we ought not to be surprised to hear of important discoveries here in the future.

The placer or alluvial mines in the districts of Cassiar, Cariboo, and Lillooet have not met with much success, and those that have been floated with English money are little heard of on the Stock Exchange. They cannot be recommended, therefore, to investors nor to speculators, who may find better use for their money elsewhere. At any rate, they had better await the results of future working. There was increased activity in this class of mining throughout last year, and there seems every probability of increased outputs this year from Cariboo, Omineca and Atlin. Dredging operations are also in progress, but so far they have met with no success.

I fully believe that in the future, on the outbreak of mining speculation generally, an effort will be made to revive activity in British Columbian mining, and, if possible, to start a boom. If so, I would seriously advise investors and speculators to exercise discrimination in their selection of shares and new companies. As for Le Roi No. 2 and Rossland and Great Western and other companies, of which we have heard more than enough of late, they should not be bought on mere generalizations of their richness and prospects.