Driefontein

This is another East Rand subsidiary, which paid its first dividend of 25 per cent. in March, 1899. A scheme is under consideration for increasing the capital of the company to £625,000, for the purpose of taking in dip ground, and thus increasing the area of the property to 330 claims. The 100-stamp mill will be doubled, and upon this the life of the mine is estimated at nineteen years. Dividends of not less than 45 per cent. ought to be paid in the future, and therefore at £4 the shares are an attractive purchase. But they are likely to go much higher than this.

Durban Roodepoort

This company is a very old and regular dividend-payer, distributions having been kept up since 1889, the average being 75 per cent. The property consists of 90 claims, and 343 freehold acres, over which surface rights are held. With 80 stamps the life should be about six and a half years. At over 70s., therefore, the shares should not be a very safe investment.

Ferreira

This company has paid bigger dividends than any other outcrop company, and they have also been paid regularly since 1891. In 1894, 150 per cent. was paid; in 1895, 115 per cent.; in 1896, 190 per cent.; in 1897, 300 per cent.; in 1898, 450 per cent.; and in 1899, 150 per cent. Milling with 80 stamps, the mine is likely to pay dividends of 300 per cent. for the next four years at least. It will then take over 40 stamps of the Worcester mine, which will be worked out, and though the company will then mill poorer ore, still, there should be no decline in the dividends. This should continue for about ten years, and then the mine will come to an end. The highest price reached by the shares was 26 7/8, in 1898, and £20 should represent its intrinsic value.

Geldenhuis Estate

This company has been in existence since 1887, and commenced to pay dividends in 1891, and since then dividends have been paid annually. In 1897 it paid 45 per cent. and in 1898 147 1/2 per cent. In June, 1899, 50 per cent. was paid, and when the war broke out there was an undivided balance of £94,000 in hand, equal to another 50 per cent. Its probable life is about eight years, and it is calculated that during that period it ought to distribute 175 per cent. annually. I consider the shares a good purchase, both for investment and speculation, at 7 1/4, which is their average price for the last six years.

Geldenhuis Main Reef

This is one of the least attractive shares, for the dividends it has paid have not only been small, but its life is not likely to be more than three or four years. Therefore I cannot advise a purchase of these shares either for investment or speculation.

Geduld Proprietary

This company was formed as recently as March, 1899, and it owns a property situated in the extreme eastern section of the Rand, about 8,500 acres in extent. Three boreholes have been sunk, striking the reef at 1,400, 1,725, and 2,135 feet respectively, showing an average result of about 1 oz. to the ton. It is estimated that the company should have a life of twenty years, and therefore the shares are very attractive.

Ginsberg

This is one of the Barnato group of mines, and is a small proposition. It owns 39 claims between the Witwatersrand Deep and Drie-fontein mines. In 1898 it paid a dividend of 40 per cent., and one of 25 per cent. in 1899. Its life is calculated at about eight and a half years, exclusive of what may be derived from the working of the North Reef, which has already been proved of a profitable character. The shares have been as high as 4, but 3 to 3 1/2 seems a fair purchase price.

Glencairn Main Reef

Another Barnato company. This company has paid only moderate dividends, the highest being 25 per cent. in 1898. It owns a mynpacht block of 143 claims, of which 110 are supposed to be reef-bearing. It should live another twenty years. The highest price since the boom of 1895 has been 4 1/4, and the lowest l 1/2. The average dividend should be 30 per cent., and the shares should be worth 2 3/4.

Henry Nourse

Although this is an old company, having been formed as far back as 1887, it did not pay its first dividend till the beginning of 1897. Since then, however, the dividends have been large and regular - 150 per cent. in 1898, and 100 per cent. in the following year. The ore in this mine is uncommonly rich, and is likely to continue so. It owns some valuable bewaarplaatsen claims and also some deep level claims, and 14,000 shares in the Wolhuter Deep. These shares should be a sound investment at £10. In 1898 they stood at 10 7/8, and did not go below 8 3/8; but since then they have dropped to 6 1/8.

Heriot

Since this company was reconstructed in 1892 it has been a regular dividend-payer, the record being as follows: 1894, 40 per cent.; 1895, 125 per cent.; 1896, 85 per cent.; 1897, 100 per cent.; 1898, 100 per cent.; and 1899, 50 per cent. When work was suspended, prior to the outbreak of the war, there was enough ore in sight to keep the mill working for nearly three years. With a milling capacity of 70 stamps it should last for another fourteen years, and continue to pay 100 per cent. dividends. At 8 1/4 the share may be regarded as a sound investment. In the boom of 1895 they reached 12 1/2, but they have been down to 4 1/4 since.

Jubilee

This company has been a steady dividend-payer since 1887, and it is a market favourite. It paid 100 per cent. in 1898, and 50 per cent. in 1899. But 100 per cent. is likely to be maintained. It also possesses assets of a value more than equal to the capital of the company. It has an estimated life of seven and a half years, and the shares should be bought safely up to 7 3/4.