Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

figures. Why? Why? The same argument regarding outside capital is applicable to these minor subscriptions; they assist development, while the investment, without jeopardizing the individual contributor's fortune, concentrates his attention upon enterprises of local consequence. Practical men are confident that the financial aid afforded by cheap share issues will result in important discoveries in the near future. Of course it is not presumed that men invest with closed eyes. If they do, then the chances are they will lose their money. Be that as it may, one thing should not be overlooked-national encouragement to those who are developing the Kootenay district. Our people should not be handicapped and then asked to compete with trained athletes. Naturally enough it reduces pluck to find foreign rivals securing the cream of the business, to hear of United States magnates meeting to discuss the advisability of erecting a smelter at Northport; to be forced to ship ores to Seattle and Tacoma, and to exchange the product for necessaries of life purchased from dealers across the border !

It is plain that the practical immigration policy would be to prove that

Canada is able to progress without undue dependence upon the outer world. The Dominion has capital and capitalists; unfortunately, many who possess wealth close their purse-strings, imagine they have done enough in their time, and call on the younger element to show what is in them, by taking their chances. Age, after all, is of comparative signification. The bloom of youth never forsakes the man who is active, vigorous, and sympathetic towards his generation, and decrepitude only begins when mental and physical energies are permitted to lie dormant. A Gladstone at eighty-seven years of age is a standing reproach to the middle-aged individual who allows himself to drift into reminiscent currents, closes his counting-house, ties up his money-bags, and prepares to depart in peace. Let some of these think again, and, so thinking, emulate the example of the race whence they sprung. The Kootenay country requires men of capital, men of experience, men of probity and energy. The Dominion possesses them-if they will but come out of seclusion and unite in accomplishing something worthy of manhood C. H. Mackintosh.

TWO LIVES.

NE struggled up the rugged road of life

With slow, unwilling feet, that longed for rest;
The path he trod with cruel thorns was rife,
And frowning clouds hung ever in the west ;
His sad eyes sought the Haven of Release
That lay afar; "O, give me rest," he cried!
But Death locked fast the golden gates of Peace,
Nor turned the key until Life's eventide.

Another danced along the selfsame way,
O'ershadowed by the sunshine's golden wing;
Soft laughter kissed the throbbing lips of day,
And he was happy as the birds of Spring.
"Life," cried the youth, "Ah! clasp me to thine heart,
Hold thou me close, and leave me not, I pray."
But Death called him and flung the gates apart,
Ere Noon had swept Morn's dewy steps away.

Lizzie English Dyas.

GOLD IS KING.*

A GENERAL REVIEW OF CANADIAN MINING.

GOLD

OLD is King! Such appears to be the dominant idea in the minds of Canadian people to-day, and through its influence we have the welcome sight of a people at last awakening to the knowledge that there is a possibility of acquiring riches from beneath the sod, from the miles upon miles of "barren" rocks so common throughout parts of our great country. We have been too long a race of money lenders, afraid to venture a cent unless another one is placed upon it.

I have known a man controlling a great financial institution such a poor political economist as to contend that more money is put into mines than ever comes out of them; therefore, forsooth, people should let their money lie at 1 or 2 per cent. interest in his bank! Surely every piece of metal taken from the earth is that much absolute gain to the community, even though it should send twice its value into circulation to obtain it. For example, the yield of gold in Nova Scotia is some $400,000 a year, and this includes about 6 per cent. profit on the average; therefore some $370,000 are put into circulation, and a creation of $400,000 takes place each year from gold which, so far as the uses of mankind are concerned, never existed before.

Gold is not the only mineral in Canada, though some people appear to think so just now. Many persons would be surprised to know that during the past decade there is, perhaps, no mineral in the country which has yielded similar profits to the asbestos of the Eastern Townships.

The tone of my article up to this point might be taken to mean that I hail with delight the formation of the thousand and one mining companies to work gold mines in Ontario and British

Columbia. ent matter.

That is a somewhat differMost of these companies have for their object the working of a mine, generally in the neighbourhood of some other mine, which is well known to be producing pay ore.

The majority of the people who invest believe that they are taking stock in a mine, and that within a short time they will be receiving dividends. I fear in most cases, however, they are supplying money to enable the owner of an undeveloped prospect to put a gang of men on to prospect and see if by chance there may be ore on the property, also to pay for advertising largely, to cover all expenses of vendor and broker, and perhaps to give both some cash for the property-the chief chance of profit to vendor and broker, however, generally lying in reserved blocks of stock, and therefore depending on something of value being haply struck. Sometimes the vendor will supply a report by a Mining Engineer, but for this class of property an engineer who will not make a good report is not wanted, and is left severely alone. A very little colouring, or elementary arithmetic, will make all the difference.

In the Old World, or in the United States, where mining has been carried on for years, no syndicate or company will dream of acquiring property and asking the public to invest money in it, without a confirmatory report made in their interest.

The point we come to after this digression is that the majority of people who are now investing in undeveloped locations, acquired by mining companies with a small amount of working capital, on the representations made by the vendor, or an engineer procured by him, will, in nearly all cases, lose their money. That will make them very sad, if not very angry. In the unrea

*The illustrations are from photographs by the writer.

A PIONEER STAMP MILL, LAKE OF THE WOODS DISTRICT, ONTARIO.

sonableness of their feelings they will say: "All men are liars, and particularly those who have to do with mines," and they will all with one accord warn their friends never to put a cent in a mine if they do not want to lose it.

The way the "knowing ones" out west "size up" the situation in Toronto is that the shrewd Yankees of Spokane are unloading their "wild cats" on the innocent Agriculturists of Ontario.

the whole district received a black eye. My friend observed that old firms with experience were rarely caught in this way. As a case in point, Mr. John Taylor, firm of John Taylor & Sons of London, of world-wide reputation, always insisted on sufficient working capital being provided on the start. He had done a good deal of work for the firm in different parts of the world, and in one case where he had been making an examination for them, Mr. Taylor asked him how much they should put down to open and equip the mine. My friend replied: "I suppose about £50,000." "Well," said Mr. Taylor, "that may be enough, but I like to to avoid going back to the shareholders and throwing a wet blanket on the enterprise, so let us say £70,000." And £70,000 it was.

99

Every case, of course, is different, and the above is merely an example.

[graphic]

I alluded to trouble arising from too small an amount of working capital. A prospecting and development company may very properly organise on a limited capital, that is to say, in comparison to the amount necessary to open up and equip a mine.

As an example of this fact I recall a conversation I had with an English mining engineer on our way down the Cariboo road in British Columbia. I was telling him that the original operations in the Lake of the Woods had been for the most part killed by the small capitalization of the operating companies. The first little difficulties met with exhausted their capital and

It will, however, suffice to illustrate the fact that it is doubtful whether we can yet raise money for a great many legitimate mining enterprises on a sound financial basis in Canada. What we can do is to form combinations for testing not one but many prospects, and if the combination is well managed, and the prospects judiciously chosen, some of them will turn out well enough to justify their purchase by mining companies with enough capital to develop them successfully. Private individuals have been doing this already.

The best rule that can be applied in this class of development work is to limit the expenditure on any one property to a fixed amount, depending on the capitalization of the company, thereby a known number of properties can be operated on and the shareholders will

know how many chances they are running of striking something good. As in any other business, the success will largely depend on the management and the judgment exercised in the choice of properties, but under ordinarily good management the chances, in our unprospected and undeveloped country, are greatly in favour of any such organization.

Let us for a few moments take a somewhat general view of the condition of mining to-day in Canada and the possibilities which exist for its expansion. Down by the "Sounding Sea," as politicians love to call it, at the very Land's End of Canada, splendidly conducted coal mining operations are carried on in Cape Breton Island. Beds of bituminous coal of immense area and high grade exist there, as well as inland in the Pictou and Springhill areas.

The gold areas of Nova Scotia have been worked for many years. The successful mining operations have been, as a rule, on rich small veins running with the formation in slate, or between beds of slate and quartzite, small mills crushing the ore, and the free gold only being saved. Now, however, larger lowgrade veins are receiving attention and being worked to a greater depth than has been the custom in the past, and with bigger mills. Nova Scotia has been the only province in the Dominion producing any quantity of iron, for making which she has both the coke and the iron ore near each other.

The iron and steel producing capabilities of Canada can, however, never be properly developed until we make our own steel rails, which are at present supplied by England and the United States.

Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are also blessed with immense deposits of exceptional gypsum, which supplies most of Canada and a large portion of the eastern part of the United States, whither it is exported in the raw state.

In the Province of Quebec the copper and sulphuric acid operations are, perhaps, the most important at the present moment, though asbestos mining, also in the Eastern Townships, is still remunerative.

The production of chrom-iron ore in the same district promises to be important. Apatite or phosphate mining, once so flourishing, has been snuffed out for the time being by Florida.

Mica mining is still in its infancy. Iron is smelted by charcoal from bog iron ore in one medium and one small furnace. And gold exploration is said to be going on in the once productive alluvial workings of the Eastern Townships. This last-mentioned district is an example of conditions which have produced a certain amount of rich placer gold, but where the country slates (Cambrian) have never yet re

[graphic]

A GIANT QUARTZ-VEIN, SEINE RIVER, RAINY RIVER DISTRICT, ONTARIO.

A GOLD-BEARING QUARTZ-VEIN, SEINE RIVER, RAINY RIVER DISTRICT, ONTARIO.

vealed a quartz vein which was high grade enough to work.

In Ontario, a quiet production of salt, petroleum, gypsum, and an intermittent output of iron in the eastern, and of silver in the western part of the Province, has been going on for years. Lately, the building of a well-equipped blast furnace at Hamilton has given fresh hope to the iron interests. The splendid results obtained by Mr. Caldwell from his operations at the Sultana mine, and the excellent prospects being opened up in the Lake of the Woods, Seine River, Wahnipitae and Marmora districts, all point to the fact that Ontario is likely to be an important gold-producing Province.

The Sudbury district is not turning out as much nickel and copper as it did some years ago, the Canada Copper Company being the only active producer. Much disappointment has been experienced that steel manufacturers have not yet, to any extent, availed themselves of the additional strength given to steel by nickel, and therefore its use is still limited, but the

high price of nickel, owing to expense of production, is probably the chief reason for the tardiness of the steel maker. There is an interesting similarity between the Sudbury nickel ore and the Rossland gold ore in physical character. If they were mixed, it would seem that they could not possibly be separated. Their ochowever, somewhat different, though the country rock in both cases belongs to the greenstone type.

currence

[graphic]

Passing west we find important beds of coal in the territories which attain the qualities of a very high grade Lignite at the Galt mines, a bituminous coking coal at Bow River Mines, a semi-anthracite at Canmore, and a good anthracite at the place of that name near Banff.

To the north there are great areas of petroleum and salt.

In British Columbia, of recent years, the coal output of Vancouver Island has exceeded in value that of any other mineral. Large areas of high grade bituminous exist there at Nanaimo, Wellington and Comox. Inland, the Crow's Nest and Nicola Valley areas both produce coking bituminous coal.

In the early sixties gold was once before "the king." In 1863 about four millions of dollars' worth was produced in Cariboo, that district having yielded some $60,000,000 up to the present, with plenty more left there. During the past season the Cariboo hydraulic mine has yielded some $120, ooo in bullion, and several other large placer schemes, on a modern basis of working, will ere long add to the general output. Gold is very widely distributed in the Province from Rossland, Camp McKinney and Fairview,

« PředchozíPokračovat »