That department of the mining market known as the miscellaneous is, taking it on the whole, more attractive to the investor than the speculator. Most of the rubbish shares have been relegated to limbo, for they are not worth buying for investment, and the speculator will have nothing to do with them because the fluctuations in their prices are too narrow. In a word, they do not make good gambling counters, hence the slight interest that is taken in this section. However, some very good investments may be picked up now and then, and therefore, it is not a section which the investor should entirely neglect, for those that have survived the weeding out process are mostly dividend-payers.

New Zealand

New Zealand has been a sadly disappointing gold-field. Only a few years ago we had a New Zealand boom, and this has left with us many derelict concerns, which are now drifting along aimlessly towards some goal or other, probably to extinction. In those days, as usual, the promoters deluged us with all kinds of flotations, the majority of the mines having been placed at their disposal by local owners who had found them worthless. Nearly the whole of the Hauraki peninsula and the Upper Thames was pegged off and taken up. The usual collapse followed some two or three years later, and it has remained with us ever since. There has hardly been any semblance of life in the New Zealand market for the past three years, and I do not see how animation is now possible. As a gold-field the colony seems to be doomed, unless some miraculous change takes place for the better. I do not say that mining work is being abandoned. In fact, the work is being carried on with more or less vigour throughout the colony, with the result that the production is not only kept up, but improved upon, as the following table of figures will show:

1900.

1901.

January. . .

38,289

21,893

February . .

18,125

53,404

March . . .

39,165

40,002

April....

20,353

20,580

May ....

29,095

36,457

June ....

33,833

43,067

July ....

39,678

-

August . . .

23,774

-

September . .

41,873

-

October . . .

33,617

-

November . .

19,739

-

December . .

34,008

-

Total.....

371,549

217,387

Total in 1898 .

389,794

-__

Total in 1899 .

280,176

-

The principal gold-fields of the colony are Coromandel, Thames, Upper Thames, West Coast, and Otago. The Coromandel field is the principal one, and has been worked more or less spasmodically for over thirty years. It has been proved, however, to be a very patchy and unreliable field, as those who have put money into the mines know to their cost. Here and there very rich patches have been found, as in the case of the celebrated Hauraki mine, which paid enormous dividends from the very early days of working, but which suddenly ceased owing to the patch giving out. Doubtless, most people will vividly remember the great excitement to which the discovery in the Hauraki mine gave rise, and how numerous companies were, as usual, floated on the strength of its phenomenal though momentary success. There was the Hauraki this and Hauraki the other, nearly all of which have now ceased to exist. These patches of rich ore have been found at shallow depths, and therefore the mines have proved quite unpayable at depth. Some of the mines floated in the Coromandel district were: Blagrove's Freehold, East Hauraki, Grolden Pah, Hauraki Associated, Hauraki Main Lodes, Hauraki South, Irene (Hauraki), Kapanga, Kauri Freehold, Kapai Vermont, Kathleen, Kathleen Crown, North Kapanga, Preece's Point, Royal Oak (Hauraki), Scotty's Hauraki, Tokatea Consols, Triumph (Hauraki), Waitaia, etc. Nearly every one of these - in fact, I might say every one - has so far proved a failure, and although development work is still being carried on on some of them, their prospects are far from hopeful.

The principal English mines floated on the Thames are Ethel, Hauraki Golden Age, Kuranui Caledonian, Mahara Royal, May Queen, Monowai, New Alburnia, Tararu Creek, Thames Hauraki, Whangamata, and Moanataiari. Most of these have so far failed to find payable ore, and there is little hope of the others finding any. Any way, there is not one in the above list that I can conscientiously recommend either to the investor or speculator.

The better-class New Zealand mines are situated on the Upper Thames field, or the Ohinemuri district, as it is also called. Here the reefs are of an entirely different nature from those found on the other fields. They are usually large, suffer little from faults, and show evidence of carrying their gold contents to a great depth. Few of the mines, however, have proved payable as yet, but development work is more justified on these than in those mines which have proved to be purely patchy. The principal mines are: Aroha, Komata Reefs, Maori Dream, Montezuma, New Zealand Crown, New Zealand Talisman, Royal Standard, Waihi, Waihi Grand Junction, Waihi Silverton, Union Waihi, Waitekauri, Waitekauri Extended, and Waitekauri United.

The premier mine of the above list - in fact, the premier mine in all New Zealand, and one of the greatest mines in the world - is the famous Waihi. Here is a sound first-class mining investment. The company has been a regular dividend-payer for years, and it is destined, beyond any shadow of doubt, to continue to pay them for many years to come, probably for another twenty or thirty years. The mine consists of two main lodes, called the Martha and the Welcome, whilst branching from these are several offshoots. The aggregate width of these reefs and offshoots is very great. Owing to the discoveries of rich bodies of ore from time to time, the directors, in order to cope with them, have been compelled to keep on increasing their crushing capacity. At the end of 1894 the company possessed 90 stamps, but at the present moment no less than 290 are working The capital of the company has recently been increased, in order to provide the funds to push on the development of the mine, and to purchase additional plant. This is the only mine in the whole New Zealand list to which I can direct the attention of the investor, the prospects of the others being too doubtful and speculative. There is no foreseeing, however, what changes may be in store for them, and he would not be wise to discard the whole list. Those which he should watch and study are Crown Mines, Progress, Waitekauri, Talisman, Woodstock, Consolidated Gold-fields of New Zealand, Waihi Grand Junction, Kauri Freehold, Komata Reefs, Royal Oak, Thames Hauraki, Waitekauri Extended and Waihi Silverton. Whether any further valuable discoveries may be made in the future of the colony is doubtful. There is, however, the possibility, as there are vast areas of country still unexplored.