It is agreed by every authority that as soon as the war is over we shall witness a great mining boom, and that opinion I fully share. Personally I do not like booms, for they leave behind them a legacy of evil from which it takes us many years to recover. At such times promoters come forward with their wild-cat companies, and to these the public only too readily subscribe, without exercising any discrimination. If mining shares are worth anything at all, they are worth investing and speculating in at any time, and the mere upstarting of a boom, or, as it really is, an outburst of feverishness and unhealthy excitement on the part of the public, does not suddenly enhance their merits. Healthy activity is certainly preferable to a boom, not only because it lessens the promoters' opportunities, but because it is not likely to lead to that inflation of prices which does so much injury to the industry and brings irretrievable disaster upon imprudent people. But booms will come and go, no matter what I or anyone else may say, and we can only watch and record their varied phases. It is agreed, then, that we shall witness shortly a boom in Rhodesians. The first and greater attention will be bestowed on Kaffir mines, but even here there is not likely to be the scope for the abundant energy that will be displayed, and it will undoubtedly overflow into the Rhodesian section. Rhodesian shares, which have been so neglected and inactive for the past eighteen months, will be bought and sold freely, and therefore this is a market to which I can direct the attention of the speculator and investor. I would rather that the latter directed his attention to it now, and not leave it until the boom is in full swing. Now is his great opportunity, for shares are very low, and it would be the height of folly to wait until they are much dearer before purchasing them. There are, doubtless, thousands who have already made up their minds to invest in Rhodesian shares, knowing full well that the market will become very active as soon as the war terminates, but they are waiting until that time comes, and then they will display intense eagerness to buy at enhanced prices. If they know that this activity is bound to come, would it not be wise of them to anticipate it? But, for some reason or other, the ordinary man seems afraid to do this. He cannot tell why, but he certainly is afraid, and he can only feel secure when he sees everybody else buying, too, for then he think there is no danger of the market collapsing. But there is greater danger of it collapsing in the time of boom, for a boom connotes a collapse, and then we see the other extreme - a prolonged period of inactivity - which only those enjoy who have bought shares at their normal and intrinsic values and are receiving handsome dividends upon them.

Rhodesia is still in its infancy as a gold-field, and it has yet to be proved by extensive development work whether or not it is destined to be a permanent and payable field. Although a great deal of development work has been done, it has not yet proved this, and we can only say that the probabilities are greatly in its favour. Like the Rand, it is evidently a low-yield field, and therefore its payability will depend upon the low cost of working. That low cost of working seems assured, though not for some years to come, for railways have yet to be built, the coal-fields have yet to be developed and worked, and, above all, there will have to be an adequate supply of native labour, which at the moment of writing is not assured. Therefore, we should be too sanguine to expect much success in the way of profits and dividends for a considerable time to come, but this will not have much weight with the public when the boom comes. The results from some of the mines which have been the first to reach the crushing stage have been decidedly disappointing, and there must be a permanent improvement before we can assure ourselves that they will be successful undertakings. It is too early yet to pronounce any definite opinion upon the payability of the country as a whole. Even the greatest experts have not yet made up their minds on this point, and no proof can be forthcoming until it has been far more extensively developed. Personally I do not think, with all its economical advantages, that we shall see here a repetition of the success of the Rand. The two fields seem to have little in common, but even if it turns out to be a steady-going industry, with moderate profits and dividends, it will be something to be thankful for. At any rate, it will be something in its favour if it does not lend itself to those scandals that have made West Australian mining a byword of reproach.

As I have said, the results from the mines have so far showed a great deal of irregularity. The Globe and Phoenix appears to have turned out the richest ore, with an average of a little over 16 dwt. of gold per ton, whilst the tailings have assayed from 2 dwt. to 3 1/4 dwt. to the ton. The Selukwe follows with an average of about 11 dwt. to 12 dwt., with 3 dwt. from the tailings, whilst the results from the Dunraven have only been slightly less. If these returns could be kept up, good profits could undoubtedly be earned, but, owing to the scarcity of native labour, the batteries have not been fully employed. One of the most important of the recent developments in Rhodesia are those reported from the Ayrshire mine, which is the property of the Lomagunda Development Company. In the eastern section of the mine the reef has been proved by a borehole to a depth of 500 feet, in the central section the reef has been met with at 160 feet from the surface, whilst in the second level rich ore was met with, assaying 28 oz. to the ton. At the recent statutory meeting of the company it was stated that the company was about to start the construction of a railway from Salisbury to the mine. A fact of great importance to the future of Rhodesia is this construction of railways. In all five railways are being built at the present time, and when these railways are built they will provide greater economical facilities for the mines, and hence the part they will ultimately play in the progress and prosperity of the country, in which the mining industry will prominently share, cannot be overestimated.