The expenses of working will be very much curtailed when once the railway reaches your property. You will then have stores at Niagara; and, in fact, the railway, which will be ready about the time our mill starts, will go right by the front-door of the bungalow where the manager lives. Therefore there can be no question that our expenses will be brought down, and that fact, added to our large deposits of ore, will enable us to work cheaply and effectively. As the chairman has said, you have a mine second to none in the world. I can compare it best to the Mysore: it is a quartz mine, and very distinct from the deposits we have in South Africa, and the possibilities and probabilities are infinite. We may see as big or a bigger output than any mine in the world if we go on in the way we are doing now. Our seven reefs are all opening out well, and you have about a square mile of property, all of which is ore-bearing. On the Altona the outcrop is traceable for a whole mile. There is about 5,000 feet of continuous outcrop, and in a great many cases the ore runs 2 oz., 3 oz., and 4 oz. to the ton. I cannot say that the reef is quite as wide there as in the Englishman, but there they are only a small distance down, as compared with the 500 feet odd on the Englishman, and, as I have told you, the reefs in that part of the country seem to be wedge shape: they are small at the top, and go down wider and wider to the bottom. That is perfectly well proved by all the measurements and plans we have had from the mine up to date. In conclusion, I would only again congratulate you on possessing a magnificent property and such a very brilliant prospect. (Applause.)
Mr. Waller expressed surprise that the directors had not declared a dividend out of the profits of the past year, considering that the prospects were so brilliant.
The Chairman stated that the directors could have declared a dividend; but if they had done so, they would have had to curtail the development. Replying to a question, the chairman stated that the ore was absolutely free milling, and there would be no difficulty in treating it. The chances of meeting with sulphide ore were very remote. They had the formation, and had only to bring it to the surface and treat it in the well-known methods of mining.
The motion was then put and carried unanimously.
Mr. W. P. Forbes moved the re-election of Mr. John H. Gretton and Mr. C. C. Baker (the retiring directors). He mentioned that he was chairman of the company which was providing the new machinery for the Cosmopolitan Proprietary, and said no expense was being spared to make it the finest machinery of the kind in the world. That company had a large interest in the mine, and they believed it to be one of the greatest gold-mines in the world. They were therefore determined to put up a mill which would be looked upon as one of the grandest examples of engineering skill ever sent out of this country. (Applause.)
Mr. Hamilton Burton seconded the motion, which was agreed to.
Here we have the chairman and Mr. Hoffmann dealing in superlatives, which we should not allow in any way to influence our judgment. If we are accustomed to reading the speeches of chairmen of mining companies, we know that all of them, with only a few exceptions, have the richest mine in the world, or the mine that should be the richest, and therefore, as every mine cannot be the richest, we should always smile at a statement of that kind. When we come to look at the facts, we find that the profits have increased, and the property has been extended, and that the chairman emphatically promises - and we must accept his promise - that a substantial dividend will be paid for the current year. Should, of course, the new mill be kept constantly supplied - as it seems likely that it will - then the profits will be greatly increased, and the chairman's prediction in all probability be fulfilled. The mine seems to be opening up in a most promising manner, judging from the figures given by the chairman. It is hopeful to find that the lode increases both in width-and value at depth, and as there are already 100,000 tons of reserves ready to be sent to the mill, which should keep the latter going for at least four years, the shares undoubtedly look a most attractive speculation. The chairman laments the price at which the shares stand, but that may be by reason of the depression in the market; so that, with a revival of general activity later on, they will in all probability improve. Moreover, when we read a speech of this kind, we should judge whether it would induce others to buy the shares for speculative purposes, and, as it would seem likely to, the demand would send the price up, and probably we could make an immediate profit. At any rate, a rise is far more probable than a fall, and, that being so, a purchase of them for speculative purposes would not be attended with many risks, certainly not immediate risks. It is a company the career of which the speculator, and even the investor, may follow with great advantage. And that is one of the best methods of speculating successfully - to select a few of the most promising shares and to study them, so as to buy or sell the moment good or bad news is received.