Full Record

Fraser's G.M. Company
Record no:
9 January 1890
Letter to editor signed "Prospector"
Kept:Press clippings book 1, p. 7
SIR, - The long delay in the retorting and smelting of the amalgam brought dowm by Mr. Simpson from Yilgarn, the resullt of a first crushing of 70 or 80 tons or quartz, has naturally caused a considerable feeling of uneasiness to pervade the minds of the speculative and mining public in our midst and possible suspicion to outside people.  For the feeling has long been that in Fraser's gold mine we possessed a property that would do honour to Western Australia and dispel all doubts as to the richness of the Yilgarn reefs.  

So many experts or self-styled experts; for it is difficult to say who is or who is not a mining experts now-a-days, have pronounced opinions on Yilgarn that it was felt that nothing less than the crushing of quartz in bulk by the ordinary batteries on claims would dispel existing doubts as to the gold being disseminated in payable quantities in the Yilgarn reefs.  

The Central crushing did not dispel the doubts existing in the minds of many, for owing to want of fresh water for the boiler, 12 tons only of quartz were crushed, for a yield of over two ounces per ton of quartz.  Naturally many, who have not visited the Central and Fraser's mine and used their eyes and also the mortar and pestle, say oh yes!  it is easy to give a good result from twelve tons of stone, but put through one hundred tons yielding a similar results per ton of stone and our scepticism vanishes.  

Fraser's was felt to be the test crushing, but as if we could not shake off our proverbial bad mining luck in Western Australia, a series of temporary mishaps could have overtaken this promising mine.  First the feed pipes for supplying water to the stampers (I believe now to hand) did not arrive in time, consequently gas pipes had to the requisitioned, and only half the power of the battery utilised, and only half the quantity of quartz crushed in a given time to what was intended.  Secondly, the amalgam and retort cakes, on being forwarded to Perth and placed in the hands of a mineralogist, presented such difficulties to smelting and refining the gold, owing to the presence of certain minerals, that now, after a fortnight's waiting, we yet have not the result.  

It would take too long to explain the difficulties met with by the mineralogist in separating the gold from the different minerals mixed with it, and this, no doubt, Mr Woodward would explain satisfactorily, but the many adverse and unjust rumours current had induced me, in the interests of the mining and speculative public, to state what I know of this mine, and what anyone conversant with mining, and visiting the claim to see for themselves.  

Before entering into particulars I may state that I have not any pecuniary interest in Fraser's mine beyond that interest naturally felt by those who wish our mining interests to be properly known and appreciated, and further I do not claim to be a mining expert. But six months prospecting at Southern Cross and in the vicinity enabled me to see a great deal of the two leading the mines there, Central and Fraser's.  I have been, I may say, a hundred times on Fraser's claim, and have by mortar and pestle tested the stone from different points and levels on the reef.  

In a mining point of view, judging from the large bodies of quartz in view above the 40 feet level with payable gold visible to the naked eye, and by pestle and mortar along the line of reef some 1,200 feet, can lead to no other conclusion that that this mine is a very valuable property, and that any difficulties met with now will only be temporary.  

This knowledge may, I hope, induce shareholders to be careful in yielding to a first panic and sacrificing their shares.  To the educated and practical mining man, difficulties in the gold from its matrix are expected, but it is hard to make the public understand difficulties such as met with in the first cleaning up of Fraser's gold mine, and that such difficulties are only of a temporary nature.  

For that gold exists in payable quantities in the quartz is patent to any one with mining knowledge who has visited the claim.  At present only one reef in Fraser's is being worked, but the claim is traversed by numerous ironstone and quartz reefs and leaders, all carrying quartz as far as tested.  I have heard it expressed by mining men of reputation that these reefs and leaders will probably junction on depth being attained and merge into one large formation.  Only mining men can understand what possibilities arise should this take place.  

My opinion as to the cause of so much iron and other minerals present in the amalgam is that it may be due to the slow flow of water over the tables and retainingof the minerals, which can be rectified at the next crushing with proper piping which is now, I believe, on the claim. This view is strengthened by the fact that no unusual difficulties presented themselves in the amalgam of South Fraser's and Central's, both on the same line of reef.  

Trusting that these few lines may be of interest and service to faint-hearted shareholders,
I am, etc.,
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