Salisbury

Although this company was formed in 1891, it did not pay a dividend until 1899, which was at the rate of 10 per cent. In addition to its outcrop area, which is estimated to have a life of only seven years, it owns two deep-level claims. It ought to pay dividends of 40 per cent.

during the remainder of its existence, and the shares should be worth 3 1/2 to 4.

Simmer And Jack

This company possesses the greatest stamp battery on the Rand. Hitherto it has been working 280 stamps, but these are now being increased to 320. But though this is the largest mine on the Rand, it has a huge capital, which is no less than £5,000,000 in £5 shares, of which the Consolidated Gold-fields of South Africa hold 600,000. There were besides £293,600 5 1/2 debentures outstanding at June 30, 1899. The present company is a reconstruction, and paid 3 1/2 per cent. in 1898, and 4 per cent. in 1899. Its minimum life is estimated at twenty years. The shares might be safely bought up to £6. The prices of the shares of this company fluctuate a great deal, and they are likely to do so in the future.

Spes Bona (New)

This has been a very disappointing mine, and the shares are still very speculative.

Treasury

This company paid steady dividends from 1892 to 1894, when they ceased until their resumption in 1898, when 15 per cent. was distributed, which was increased to 17 1/2 per cent. in the following year. Working with 60 stamps the mine should last thirteen years, and the average dividend should be 18 per cent. The shares are of £4 denomination, and should be bought at any price up to 5 1/2 to 5 3/4.

Wemmer

This has been one of the big dividend-payers, but the capital is a small one of £80,000. In 1895 200 per cent. was paid, 75 per cent. in 1896, 100 per cent. in 1897, 150 per cent. in 1898, and 75 per cent. on account of 1899. The average price of the shares during the past six years has been about 11 1/4. It should last for another six and a half years, and should pay dividends from 190 to 200 per cent. It owns a number of other very valuable assets, including 36,226 shares in the Village Deep. These shares are a good purchase up to 13 1/2.

Wolhuter

Since this company was reconstructed in 1895 it has paid regular dividends, the latest being 10 per cent. in 1897, and a similar distribution in 1898. The property consists of 161 reef claims, in addition to bewaarplaatsen and water-right area, having a life officially estimated at over forty years, with a mill of 100 stamps. Since the boom of 1895 the highest price the share has reached has been 9, and the lowest 2 3/4. This mine is rather patchy, and therefore speculative, and the shares are not worth more than £5. Their denomination, I might add, is £4.

It will be seen that I have given but the briefest particulars of these leading outcrop mines, but I hope they will be useful. I have estimated the price of the share on a dividend of between 8 and 9 per cent., but some may be satisfied with only 6, or even 5 per cent., and therefore they can buy at higher values than those I have given.

In addition to these outcrop shares there are, of course, the great and promising deep-level shares, many of which are likely to be sounder investments than the outcrops. In fact, the future of the Rand depends upon its deep-level mines. It has been proved that the reefs carry down to an enormous depth, and they will be worked as deeply as it is possible to work them with safety and profit. Already some of them have reached the producing stage and have paid dividends, but those that have made no return may be equally as good investments to buy now. Mr. John Hays Hammond thinks it possible to mine successfully to a depth of 8,000 feet. At any rate, investors and speculators should study the progress of deep mining on the Rand. and follow the developments of the various mines, for they will be able to find amongst them sounder investments than they can find elsewhere. News of the very greatest importance as affecting the future of deep levels has just been received from the Rand, and that is the striking, by a borehole, of the main reef series at a distance of 8,500 feet from the outcrop, and at a depth of 4,825 feet. In this we have ample confirmation of the theories held respecting the flattening of the reefs in depth, and there should no longer be any doubts felt regarding this important question. And not only does it confirm their flattening, but also their workability to a very great depth beneath the surface, even, perhaps, to the depth of 8,000 feet predicted, or, rather, opined by Mr. John Hays Hammond. Moreover, it confirms the theories held by this eminent expert, as expressed by him in his report to the Consolidated Gold-fields of South Africa in the autumn of 1899. He said: 'I still adhere to the opinion that it is possible to work to depths of upwards of 8,000 feet on the Witwatersrand. . . . The extent of mining ground embraced within vertical depths of 8,000 feet cannot be predicted with accuracy. There has been, it is true, local steepening of the reefs, but we have had the same experience in the outcrop companies, and I am still of the opinion that there is a decided tendency, broadly speaking, of the reefs to flatten in depth. This theory, however, does not justify the exploitation of mining ground too remote from the outcrop.' So that, sanguine as this utterance is, this recent strike has proved that it is not sanguine enough, for it will justify the exploitation of mining ground remote from the outcrop.

The assays are, of course, equally as important as proving the wonderful uniformity and reliability of the main reef series throughout its entire length. They show beyond all doubt that the reefs are payable at that depth, and that they are likely to be equally as payable at greater depth. The reefs are of the average thickness and value as in the outcrops, and therefore this discovery removes Rand mining from the region of speculation, and puts it on the footing of a sound, reliable, and long-lived industry, thus justifying discriminating investment as distinct from speculation and gambling.

The principal deep-level concern is the famous Rand Mines, Limited, with its huge capital of £490,000 in £l shares and its £1,000,000 of 5 per cent. debentures. It paid its first dividend of 100 per cent. in 1898, followed by 50 per cent. in June, 1899, whilst at the end of December last it had £2,530,270 of undistributed profit. Its chief assets are its large holdings in a great number of deep-level mines, and the major portion of the money in hand will be required to finance some of its subsidiaries. The price of the shares fluctuates in the neighbourhood of £40, and they are likely to reach £50 in a boom. But there is a project for splitting the shares into 5s. shares, in order to make them more marketable.

I have space only to tabulate the other leading deep-levels, which have already commenced to crush, or are about to crush, giving the recent dividends they have paid, and their lives where they have been officially estimated:

Name.

Dividends per cent.

Capital.

Life.

Angelo Deep .

5s., March, 1899

£500,000

25

Bonanza ....

11s., June, 1899

£200,000

6 1/2

Consolidated Gold-fields ..

5s., Dec, 1898

£2,000,000

-

Crown Deep

5s„ Aug., 1899

£300,000

20

Durban Roodepoort Deep

Rts., Oct., 1897

£350,000

26

Ferreira Deep ...

-

£910,000

16

Geldenhuis Deep....

8s., Aug., 1899

£350,000

22

Glen Deep.....

2s., Sept., 1899

£600,000

20

Jumpers Deep .

4s., Nov., 1899

£530,000

20

Knight's Deep .

-

£550,000

20

Langlaagto Deep

-

£650,000

29

Nigel Deep.....

Rts., May, 1895

£500,000

-

Nourse Deep .....

2s., Sept., 1899

£450,000

25

Robinson Central Deep .

Rts., May, 1899

£500,000

18

Robinson Deep.....

5s., May, 1899

£950,000

22

Rose Deep

8s., Aug., 1899

£425,000

22

Simmer East ....

-

£700,000

25

Simmer West .....

-

£400,000

-

South Geldenhuis Deep ...

-

£400,000

28

South Rose Deep

-

£600,000

-

Village Main Reef .....

8s., July, 1899

£400,000

15