These illustrations will show the great importance, then, of ascertaining the dip of the reef - a matter to which both investors and speculators pay too little heed. Though all the four mines are shown to have the reef, it may not be equally rich in all of them, and that is another important point to consider. Moreover, the expense of working it in mine No. 1 will be less than in mine No. 2, and in the latter less than in mine No. 3, and so on; therefore working cost is a further matter that needs to be duly considered. In mines 3 and 4, for instance, the shafts will have to be sunk to a great depth before the reef is struck, and it will mean greater initial outlay than in the case of mine No. 1, and therefore will need a much larger working capital with which to commence operations. Thus, shareholders may have to wait patiently for some years before that shaft can be sunk, and even when the reef is struck it may prove disappointing as far as its quality is concerned, and may prove altogether unpayable. That is to say, the yield may be so small as barely to cover working expenses, let alone leave anything for profits and dividends, and therefore the shares of that company are worthless both for investment and speculation. Or the ore, which was free milling in mines No. 1 and 2, may be found to be refractory in the others, necessitating a special kind of plant and treatment. This special kind of plant and treatment may be far from easy to discover, and therefore may involve a great deal of labour, time and money in tests and experiments before a suitable one is found.

Fig. 1. A, surface; B, outcrop of reef.

Fig. 1. A, surface; B, outcrop of reef; C, reef dipping to the east; D, boundary lines of property; E, country rock.

In Fig. 1 it will be seen that the claim on the east stands a good chance of striking the reef at depth, whereas the claim on the west will not strike it at all.

Fig. 2 shows us the hopelessness of trying to find the reef in the property to the east, whilst in the west they are likely to strike it at a shallow depth, and thus it might turn out to be a more valuable claim than the original mine. Should the reef continue to flatten, it may go through several properties, as Fig. 3 will show.

Economical Facilities Continued HowToSpeculateInMines 4

Fig. 2.

Economical Facilities Continued HowToSpeculateInMines 5

Fig. 3.

In the early days of gold-mining mines were worked only to shallow depths, simply because the expenses of sinking deeper were too excessive, and also those mines only were opened up where the ore could be easily extracted, those where only refractory ores existed being abandoned. Since then, however, mining and metallurgical science has advanced to such a degree that mines where the ore is very poor in yield - witness the Rand as a brilliant example - can be made to pay handsomely. For instance, on the Rand, in spite of a Government that was inimical to the industry, which burdened it excessively, ore yielding only 10 dwt. or 12 dwt. to the ton pay enormous dividends - 100 or 200 per cent. being common - whilst on other gold-fields mines giving 1 oz. and over to the ton cannot even pay their way.

All this, of course, depends in a great measure upon working expenses and the degree to which the metal is extracted from its matrix, matters which must be studied with intelligence. On the Rand native labour has been very cheap, and that has been greatly in favour of the mines, though from time to time it has been rendered inefficient and inadequate owing to the corrupt administration of the Government of the Transvaal. In the early days the field was condemned by many of the leading experts, who asserted that it could never be made to pay. But in spite of these predictions, which have been falsified, the Rand is not only the premier gold-field in the world, but its past glories are likely to be eclipsed by the future, and thus it is almost certain to maintain its pre-eminent position for many generations to come.

It was the process known as the 'cyanide process' (of which investors and speculators hear a great deal) that brought about the revolution in Rand mining, for by this process they were able to treat successfully what is known as the tailings, which before the discovery of the process were discarded as worthless. It is the treatment of these tailings that has been responsible for the success of Rand mining, and as the slimes will in future be likewise treated profitably, that success will be all the surer and greater.

But besides satisfying themselves on the points I have enumerated - such as the dip of the reef, the depth at which it will be struck, the initial outlay, its richness and payability, its nature and treatment, etc. - the investor and the speculator must find out what facilities exist for economical working. Water, for instance, is vitally necessary for the successful working of a mine; and time after time we find incalculable damage done through droughts or any other difficulty in obtaining an adequate supply of this necessary element. In the early days of Western Australia mining operations were seriously retarded through lack of it, and even now there is far from a sufficient supply of it, and mines have had to be shut down in consequence; in fact, it will be remembered that this was the question of questions, the problem of problems, discussed in the public press, at meetings of companies, and in the reports of directors and experts, and it was feared that unless the difficulty could be overcome the gold-field would be doomed.