The report of the directors of the Mount Malcolm Mines, Ltd., covering the period from the 17th March, 1900, to the 31st March last, to be submitted at the meeting on the 30th inst., states that, after writing off £1,804 from plant and machinery, and half the preliminary expenses amounting to £1,989, there remains £3,727 to the credit of profit and loss. As the shareholders have recently been informed, the directors have thought it advisable, under the recommendation of its representatives in Western Australia, to restrict the operations to development of the mine, and accordingly the battery and cyanide plant have been stopped. They are of opinion that this is the wisest policy to pursue, as the crushing of small parcels of stone every month entails a much higher mining and milling cost. During this period 6,297 tons of ore have been crushed for 4,193 oz. of gold, and 7,585 tons of tailings cyanided for 2,029 oz. of gold, being a total of 6,222 oz., amounting to £23,765, after taking off the cost of transit and realization. A large amount of development work has been accomplished upon the company's property during the period under review. The reef has been exceedingly erratic; several rich strikes of ore have been made in various parts of the property during the year; but, unfortunately, these good developments did not continue. The directors hope that the shute of ore in the Juliet mine will be found to be a continuation of the good stone which existed in the upper levels.
Now, the ordinary man reading this report would not know that this company, although a young one, has been reconstructed, that in 1899 the old company paid a shilling dividend, and that crushing has been in progress since the middle of 1897. This is information that he should get to know, even though it may not be much, or very valuable, for it is better than being ignorant of it. The ore is poor for a West Australian mine, and we find consequently that the company is hardly paying its way. The fact that the battery has been closed down, and the cyanide plant stopped in order to concentrate work on the development of the mine, is evidence, reading between the lines, that the manager is not satisfied with the bodies of ore he has been working, and that if the company has nothing else to rely upon it is practically doomed. Therefore, everything depends upon the results of this development work, and there is no knowing how long the shareholders may have to wait for results. So far as development work has proceeded, it has proved the mine to be very patchy, and it is very rarely that reliable, regular formations are found in such properties. Still, we must take the chance of the Mount Malcolm proving an exception to the rule. Is this a good mine to invest in? Are the shares promising speculative shares? As they stand at only a shilling or two, a few may, perhaps, be a good speculative purchase, but in a case of this kind the purchaser must be satisfied with a very small profit. An ordinary man reading a report of this kind would likely criticise it in the way I have mentioned, and therefore advice from those who had the full report, or who had followed fairly closely the history of the mine, would be of the greatest assistance to him. It would depend much upon his temperament as to whether a two-shilling share in such a company, issuing such a report, would be attractive to him. Others would pass it by and look for a more promising speculation elsewhere, and they would find it in the same issue of the paper, where the following report appeared: