It may be beyond doubt, as he says, that the reefs are of high grade, strong and regular, etc.; but so are they in the Hannan's Field and many other gold-fields, where many mines are making no profits, and are likely to make none, so that a statement of this kind is of no help to us in estimating the value of this property in particular. There may be plenty of timber and water, but timber and water will not of themselves insure the success of a mine, if gold is wanting in payable quantities, and we must have more assured promises of this if we are to embark our money in the concern, or unless we are willing to speculate rashly. The title may also be secure - and in the case of a West African company this is of exceptional importance - but the title to a worthless property, or one of very doubtful value, is not sufficient to induce us to put our money into it, and hence we prefer to wait until a better one comes along.
There is not much more to be said of the report by Mr. Louis Wyatt. Indeed, it is to be noted that both are remarkably similar, as though one was merely a paraphrase of the other. Here we also have indefiniteness of statement, without any details of the strike, thickness and assay values of the reefs, and the absence of these is quite enough to induce us to throw the prospectus on one side as unworthy of consideration.
Later on we have quite a medley of names of different West African companies, all of which seem to be interested in the promotion and flotation of the company. It is far too intricate to be worth the trouble of unravelling, and this alone would be quite sufficient for me to have nothing to do with the concern. The property seems to have been tossed about from one to the other until the West African Agency has finally come forward to invite subscriptions. It would certainly invite in vain as far as I am concerned.
I have criticised this prospectus as briefly as I could. It is a particularly useful one, inasmuch as it is the kind of prospectus that is most frequently published, the kind that undoubtedly makes a deep impression upon the critical. The reports are of the usual glowing description, and seem, on the face of them, highly plausible and attractive; but when we come to analyze them calmly, we find them sadly deficient and indefinite, leaving it to the temperaments of individuals to infer their own meanings and conclusions from them. We shall see what degree of success will attend this company in years to come.
We will now consider a prospectus of quite a different stamp. Indeed, both are very useful to us as offering the extreme types of these documents.
Issued by the Rhodesia Exploration and Development Company, Limited, to whose Shareholders preference will be given in Allotment.
The Application List will open, on Tuesday, the 11th June, 1901, and close on Friday, the 14th June, 1901.
This Prospectus has been duly filed with the Registrar op Joint Stock Companies.
Incorporated under the Companies Acts, 1862 to 1898.
Capital - £150,000.
In 150,000 Shares of £1 each, divided as follows:
75,000 will be allotted to the Vendors, as fully paid, in payment of the purchase price, viz.: -
57,461 to the Rhodesia Exploration and Development Company, Limited; 17,539 to the British South Africa Company. 25,000 will be held in reserve.
50,000 are now offered for Subscription at par (less amount subscribed by the British South Africa Company).
Payable: 2s. 6d. per Share on Application; 2s. 6d. per Share on Allotment, and the balance as and when required, in Calls not exceeding 5s. per Share, with intervals of at least One Month, and with not loss than Fourteen Days notice. The whole of the present issue will be available for "Working Capital, less the cost of Registration of the Company, advertising and other expenses, limited to £1,500. DIRECTORS. HANS BAXTER, M.D., The Mill House, Holmwood, Surrey (and Bulawayo), Member of Legislative Council, Rhodesia (Director of the Rhodesia Exploration and Development Company, Limited). ALEXANDER DAVIDSON, 23, Upper Thames Street, E.C., Merchant (Director of the Rhodesia Exploration and Development Company, Limited). WALTER P. FORBES, 64, Belgrave Road, S.W., Gentleman (Director of Crescens (Matabele) Mines and Lands Company, Limited).
A further Director will he Nominated by the British South Africa Company.
Union Bank Of Scotland, Limited, 62, Cornhill, E.G.
george Reader And Co., Basildon House, Moorgate Street, E.C.
cooper Brothers And Co., 14, George Street, Mansion House, E.G.
govett, Sons And Co., 4, Throgmorton Avenue, E.C.
herbert George Lat1lla, 15-16, George Street, Mansion House, E.C.
This Company was formed in April, 1899, for the purpose of acquiring certain Gold Mining Claims in the Belingwe District of Matabeleland, Rhodesia, the property of the Rhodesia Exploration and Development Company, Limited, and for the other purposes set out in the Memorandum of Association.
Development work has been continuously carried out upon the property from March, 1898, up to the present date. A sum exceeding £23,000 has been expended by the Vendors in opening up the mine, exclusive of cost of machinery, the full benefit of which accrues to this Company without any addition to the purchase price.
The property consists of 146 claims. There are a large number of old workings on the claims, some of them being of considerable extent.
Several parallel reefs occur on the property, the principal line of reef having every characteristic of a fissure vein.
Mr. Telford Edwards, Consulting Engineer of the Rhodesia Exploration and Development Company, Limited, in his Report, dated the 17th October, 1900, says: -