Mon 9 Jun 1873, The South Australian Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1858 - 1889) Trove

The surprising wealth of the copper mines on Yorke's Peninsula, and the wonderful development of the; mineral discoveries at Wallaroo and Moonta have made those mines a name in the world....

The surprising wealth of the copper mines on Yorke's Peninsula, and the wonderful development of the; mineral discoveries at Wallaroo and Moonta have made those mines a name in the world. Their fame has extended far and wide, and their richness has been the source of continual wonderment. Hundreds of thousands of tons of copper ore lucre been disembowelled from the earth, and thousands of tons of the copper of commerce have been exported frontwise colony. An innnAma amount of labor has thereby been employed, and a very large addition has been made t? the material wealth of .the colony. The "mineral interest has proved one of the-most prodactive and valuable of the. staple interests of the colony. When the agricultural interest has been depressed and the pastoral interest has been brought to thevergeof rain, the mineral interests-represented principally in the early days by the celebrated Bum Bum, and in later times by the Wallaroo and Moonta Mines —has proved the mainstay of the colony until prosperous times have again dawned upon the •grieoltani and pastoral farmers, and helped on the colony to its present state of advancement and prosperity. The Bum Bans speedily won a world-wide reputation as one of the richest copper mines in the world, bat it lia? had to "pide its ineffectual fire" before the larger riches of the more recent discoveries on Yorke's Peninsula. ' It was in the year 1861 that these discoveries were made, and since then mineral treasures have been poured forth from an apparently inexhaustible source. 'Hie change which these" few years haVe wrought in Che aspect of that portion of Torke's Peninsula cannot fail to excite astonishment. Then it was'a sheep run, with here 'and there a- lonely shepherd fawning his flock; now it is the busy hannt of men, supporting s population of something like 20,000 souls, and presenting everywhere evidences of the 'most These remarks are preparatory to a few notes," which I propose to tzansaribe, of a visit recently paid *o the bosy mining population how setUaa'xfa the Walttroo district. I fear I shaU riot lie able to reproduce those feelings which were excited in my mind daring my-etays Jmtif-lam successful in; any way of, conveying some information as to what is'really going on upon the Peninsula, and drawing attention to the vast importance of that portion of the province, my effort will-not have been in vain. There are many many people in Adelaide, and in* the colony generally, whose only knowledge ;of Wallaroo is the occasional references they may see-made to it in the columns of the Press, and comparatively few persons have, I believe, been eye-witnesses of the astonishing rapidity with which settlement has proceeded there, and of the triumphs of the skin and enterprise of m«i m turning to account the mineral riches which exist in that neighborhood. It was in the darkness of a winter's mpmWig that I found myself at Cobband Co.'s booking-office, a candidate for.a seat in the mafl conveyance bound' to Wallaroo. On the morning' to -which I allude, Jfcere w*s a large complement of passengers, bo that the coach overflowed, and the "overflow" was-accommodated in a comfortable waggonnette. Taking'a seat in die waggonette, we started at a quarter to 6 o'clock on the journey of $8 miles. It was ? cold raw morning, and we had travelled sevaral mfles before the day began to dawn, and we were well on our way when— ; _ ■ •* ty^f Hub Baitem jnmmtsini hrolcs The (tar of ike num." --■■■ Theroad over which we were travelling Aad evidently not been favored by the Government or Parliament, and we very soon came upon portions er the road which liad never received votes for construcfion or repairs, and before we got to Virginia tfce passengers to get ou| to lig****? .ft* vehicle aa it was going through* lagoon in the track. At intervals as far a* "tte Light the road has been made, but the intervening patches of unmade/fpad are very boggy and heavy. After leaving Two Wells we <entered the Long Scrub, where nothing has beep done to the road beyond Aurnij; it. A few miles outside of Port Wakefield irq<mefc the Wallaroo mail, and exchanged newspapers, and reached Port Wakefield about 2 o'clock. After leaving the Wakefield the track passes over a widedrearypbun;batatlaslweascenifed the Hummocks range, and came *t bijoe upon some newly-sown wheat fields, and passed- several substantial-looking farmhouses. The early crops looked fresh and vigorous, v and, the cultivated fields formed a' pleasant feature in the landscape. The road passes through the Hundred of Dublin, the land in wMch has roountiy beenin demand^bregrionltural purposes——so much a?j indeed, that a party of Government surveyors is now engaged in surveying more la^dpi this hundred for selectors. Tbfl; Rainfall, i is said, is very precarious in thmlncality ; but the country was evidently not suffer.

ing from drought when we passed through it. * Thfe rdada bore evidence of heavyrains, and the fresh verdure and vigorous -1 growth of the new crops pdded confirmation to the evidence which the state of the roads afforded. As night approached dark clouds rolled up from the west, which threatened a very heavy downpour, and just after making the last change .of horses—about 15 miles from Kadina—the rain began to j fall in earnest. Our position was not an enviable one, for we were plunging about in a perfect quagmire, whilst the rain was beating down upon us and bidding defiance to the thick coats and warm coverings we had. However the drivers can pick out the road under such circumstances I don't know, and the work is most distressing for the hones. Indeed, it is noticeable all along this road that the stages are very long and heavy. At Green's Plains Post-Office we dropped two of our passengers, who took the branch mail coach for Moonta, and then we proceeded on our journey—for there still remained 11 miles of road to be travelled ere we reached our destination. About 7 o'clock the Kadina lights gleamed through the darkness, and by half-past 7 o'clock we had dismounted at the White Lion Hotel. We were cold and wet, for the rain had never ceased. I was travelling in company with one of the members for the district who has a high notion of the duties of a representative, and who felt it to be a duty—notwithstanding the discomforts of the journey, to be present at a Friendly Societies' festival which was proceeding at Kadina. Accordingly, after a hasty ablution, we sought the services of a pilot— for strange, as it may seem, pilotage was absolutely necessary "under the circumstances. TTaflinm is a perfect mudhole, and it was impossible almost to take a step without going ankle deep into slush. However, the cordiality of the reception, which the member aforesaid received on entering the banqueting-room, must have < repaid him for the discomforts he bad. Buffered. I may mention here that. the tnidl coach did. not reach TtWliwn till three-quarters of an hour after we did? and I was informed that similar delays were not at all unusual. The means of communication with the Peninsular townships is a subject which must receive the early attention of Parliament, for it is positively disgraceful that the road lying between twe such important termini as the metropolis and the Wallaroo townships should be allowed so long to have remained in its present condition. Were these townships small and unimportant, or were they likely to prove ephemeral, there might be some excuse for the neglect of this matter, but they are neither unimportant nor ephemeral. It is surprising that the residents there should so long have been quiescent on this matter, but road communication with the Peninsula is asubjett which will no longer admit of delay. kadhja. This is the township adjacent to, and mainly supported by, the Wallaroo Mines. It has within the last year been made a corporate town, and can now boast of a Mayor and Town Councfl. The Mayor is Mr. T. H. Hall; and the Councillors— j Messrs. Bawden, Tonkin, Bundle, Martin,: Cornish, Tregoweth, Harris, and Haddy.! The impressions formed on tile mind of ai visitorarriving, as I did, would not be of s very favorable character. Kadina is situated on a flat, and there is little or no natural drainage, so that after heavy rains the water settles on the ground, and the! streets are speedily converted mto lagoons^ and quagmires, so that travelling through' them is a matter of great difficulty, and1 pedesfrianism is almost oat of the question. The Town Council have, however, set to work in earnest to place the main thoroughfares in a passable and creditable! «tate, although as this work has been just' eomMJenced, the breaking -up of the streets has temporarily increased the inconvenience arising from bad roads. Taylor-street has already been formed and -< metalled, and the principal road—Graves-Street —is now being made. Drainage inpamjrfont have also been commencedwhich, Irhen perfected, will, it is believed] flanY off ike water from a large .area of ■and in and around the town. This is a roost important sanitary work, and ought to engage -the earnest attention -of the an&bnties. It is gratifying to see the wsfrtm m\ of Mi«H prosperity and ad-VMMBment which this town affords. The • main street is lined with many shops and (laces'of business which would do credit to the metropolis. A new building is in course of erection for the Bank of South Australia, which wnl prove a decided ■ ornament to the town. HWJins^ ean also boast of a flour null, whilst there are sev?tal commodious churches and public buildings. There is also in course of erection a large new-hotel, the completion of which tnellen wQI hail with .pleasure!, as the hotel accommodation at Kadina is very indifferent. Kadina is &e terminus of the tramway which connects that town with Wallaroo and Moonta, and the terminal station is a very substantial building. THE WAXLABOO HDTES. . Having received a kmd invitation from Mr. 8. Higgs, jun.. the Superintendent of the Wafianw Mines, to visit those mines, I very gladly accepted it. The . Wallaroo Mines are—as maybe known— private property, and the operations which have been, carried on then, and the results which have been attained, havenot been made public. The workings, however, are very extensive, and 'it is understood that the mine has proved exceedingly rich. At the Malta Shaft there is a 60-inch cylinder steam engine, which drives the pumping gear. The pumps are 14 inches in diameter, the stroke is 10 feet, end tile emptying power *~— of the pumping engine is 442,080 gallons per 24 hours. This immense body of water is thrown into a Government drain and carried two or three miles away from ike township. There is a sister engine to this employed at Taylor's Shaft also in pumping, and a third engine is to be erected at North Hughes's Shaft •^ ~ Anpthnr . interesting . portion of the surface workings is the new steam whim which has been erected midway between Taylor's and Elder's Shaft*. ~ Attached to a 10-feet drum are two 3|' inch Steel ropes, one of which is used m . hanliag&pm Taylor's Shaft and the other In hading from Elder's. Mr. Higgs <speak?' highly of the advantages of the ■teal rope for this purpose. !n the firet pbee it is wmwJi lighter, 'being iij. the pro). portion of 8 lbs. toiiie fathom for sjeel rope' to 96 lbs. par fathom for iron chain rope. In the second place it is stronger in proportion—the proof strength of § iron chain being 6 tons, of 4J-inch wire rope 30 .tons, and of 3£-inch steel rope —that which is in ase- here—2B tons. Besides these advantagesj it works more J", quietiy'<^tsn iron chain, and, if it should . break, It would not carry away the stays, . asweald be'.sureiobe''as/case'witiiiron • rope. . - Beckoning the < jmerenon in; the original ens*, and in tin wet of working, ' ;' Mr. BSgmi ektimates-titatthe steel wipe ;' shows a saving of 27 per cent in working. The rtfim' whim, which 'has 'been ;in opatation about nine montiia, has provjed to be very affective. Staff is. ( hauled alternately bom the two ahafte/anflia*. one drip is coming 'up one shaft ai&jAer is going down the.other. Operations can be «mI on simnltanwonily ai different '■-■■ levels, and an index in' the engine-roam, - which is beautifully adjpated,1 indicates ' • clearly to the engine-driver-how to r^nlate the fngm« .The steam whim brings, as enormous quantity of atuff to grass. We tuaed-.one ■ope?attaK,:aad.^>ngd that > bom' flia <js? «wekipfcegaavto descend 'to th?*ffmewnen it ascended again, laden . 'wia,"2tons6<nrt. rfore^<in^3ininiut«B. -'•lapsed., &may m, .n^siboiied ftiat,no; dressing opOktion? -ace at the ■ Wslismn TWinrn thimnftt xoi ieing suffi- I cuotiy rich to lmai)BpthatH?pef?tion'reiiiu.^nscalx??L.^The jtnff jffhjchislfronghtto,, grass is broken to a canoe, similar to rosdri metal, and in tins state it is sent to the 1

Wallaroo Smelting Works. Some idea of the "magnitude of the works may be obtained from the fact that nearly 1,100 officers and men are employed on the mines—a number which, at a moderate estimate, will represent a total population supported by the mines of between 4,000 and 5,000 souls; and, to show how economically the mining operations are i carried on, it may be mentioned that the I waste steam which previously used to be turned to no account, is brought through the miners' dressing-room, and is thus utilised in drying the wet garments of the miners—an operation which used previously to keep two men regularly employed. The principal shaft —Hughes's— has been sunk to the 130-fathom level, and this is said to be the deepest shaft in the colonies. Taylor's is down to the 90-fathom, and Elder's to the 80-fathom. Levels are driven from the shafts at interyak) of 10 fathoms, and winzes are also sunk at intervals, which serve as ladderroads for the miners and as ventilators for the mine. The officers only go down and come up the engine-shaft, the men being bound to descend and ascend by means of the ladder-roads in the winzes. The tutwork men work in eight-hour shifts, the shifts taking place at 7 a.m., 3 p.m., and 11 p.m. ; the tributers -work only one core—eight hours. During about sight months of the year employment is given at the surface-workings to a number of aboriginal natives; but they have a superstitious dread of going underground. It may be interesting to geologists to know that the ore-bearinp ground at Wallaroo is mica schist, and it is a singular circumstance that in this re-Bpect it differs entirely from the Moonta Mine—although the two mines are only a few miles apart. The general characteristics of the mineral deposits' are thus described. At the surface, muriates are Found which, as the shaft is sunk, change into richer ore—red or black oxides, with occasional pockets of native copper, and finally Lead to sulphurets or copper pyrites. Having given some idea of the mining operations which are being carried on here, let me say a few words ibcnt the engineering and mechanical appliances which are to be f onnd on the works. The' engineering department is tarnished with a fine screw-cutting and burning lathe (20 feet bed), a bolt and nut screw machine, and other appliances which are requisite for the heavy work irhich has .to be done. In the foundry ill the brass castings are made, as are also the smaller iron castings. Ope of the most recent and most interesting portions of the mine workings is Hie. Fuse Factory, which has been in operation some eight or ten months. At this factory is manufactured very superior ruse—so superior, indeed, that a steam lactory is about to be erected at Wallaroo, n order to" supply the Luge demand for ;his article which.has sprung up. Mr. Fohn Phillips, with the assistance of the >roprietora of the mine, has with great Mtience and mechanical skill attained he most satisfactory results. He has rery cleverly adapted the machinery bo hat with the present appliances he can nake 200 CoQb of fuse per day. The rations operations in the manufacture of he fuse are exceedingly interesting, but a tetailed account of the processes is unlecessary. Suffice it to say that the nechanism 'is -highly creditable to the kill and patience of Mr. Phillips, whilst he demand there is for the fuse is the jest evidence which could be given of the access of Mr. Phillips's experiment.' Che proprietors of the Wallaroo Mine apply their own requirements, besides riuch they have sent fuse to the other soionies, and have received orders for acre tiuat oan be sapplied. During he last ten months—the period that lie factory has been at work—only two toles -have been known to miss fire, but trier to that-—when the miners used im>orted fuse—it was a daily occurrence br the holes to miss fire, thus involving l great deal of delay and danger. The use is occasionally submitted to severe ests. It is sometime soaked for 24 lours, to prove' its resistance to water, ind-it is also subjected to pressure in a rice—a pressure far beyond what it would lave in ordinary fawnping, and the tests utve invariably proved satisfactory. I vas permitted to see the plans of the Steam, Fuse Factory, which is about to to erected at Port Wallaroo. It is proerased to erect six Bete of machines, so that the manufacturing power of the Factory will be equal to the largest demands that can be anticipated. It is satisfactory to know that amid all the efforts.to develop the riches of the mine, the . mental and moral welfare of the miners has not been neglected. A ipacious reading-loom has been erected, uid a library has been formed. At the suggestion of' Mr. Higgs. the proprietors placed amm of money at his lispoflal, with which a reading-room measuring 58 x 23 has -been built, with i council room and library attached, rhe library contains 600 vols., and the shelves are filled with an admirable ■election of works, including several ralnaUe books of reference. On the tables in the reading-room I saw Bnch newspapers and aerials as the Saturday Review, Pall Mall Budget, Scientific American, Bladcwood, Frater, Chambers'* Tountal,. Graphic^ IRustraled London Newt, Desides the principal Australasian newspapers. The library is evidently much ippreciated, for there are 400 subscribers, md there is a good balance of money in land for augmenting the library. Courses jf monthly features are also axranged, and xxasional musical entertainments are given by Mrs. Higgs and other ladies of the neighborhood. A very handsome piano has been purchased for use on these jccaaions out of the proceeds of the proceeds of a bazaar which was held tome time since. Altogether one cannot Eul to be impressed with the magnitude if the works which are being carried on lere, and £he completeness of the arrangements of the establishment. (To be continued.)


Tue 10 Jun 1873, The South Australian Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1858 - 1889) Trove

Leaving the Wallaroo Mines after a very heavy rainfall—the heaviest, I was informed, which had been recorded, viz., 2 and a half inches within about an hour and a half —we were driven to Moonta, a distance of some eight or ten miles....

On our way we passed the Doora Mine, a valuable property, which has been opened, up upon a freehold section belonging to Mr. W. W. Hughes, the wealthy mining proprietor. We had not time to spare to stay and look over the workings ; but from a passing glance, it was evident that the mine was being vigorously worked. Mr. Higgs, the Superintendent of the Wallaroo Mines, has also charge of the Doora Mine, and he informed me that there were 180 men employed there. A township—Pittenween—has sprung up near the mine, which bids fair to be a thriving place, as the mine becomes developed. The road from Kadina to Wallaroo is a good natural road in fine weather, but as no attention has been paid to it, fnrther than to clear it, it is in winter time a heavy, muddy track. After travelling a few miles, we saw in the distance the monster workings of the Moonta Mines, surrounded by a perfect colony of houses—the residences of the miners and others supported by the mines ; and we [ speedily came upon the cottages near to the Paramatta, Yalta, -and other mines which, are upon, the outskirts of the lion mine of the Peninsula. There are several distinct villages, all of which come under the general designation of Moonta, although not included within the limits of the town of Moonta. The Moonta" Mines township — the township surrounding the Mines, and situated upon the sections belonging to the Moonta Company-^-is i the largest; then there is the Town of Moonta, situated a mile or so from the Mines ; and in addition to these tier? sue tiie villages which are mainly supported by the Paramatta, Yelta, and adjacent mines. For the mosc part, judging from the hurried glance we could get as we drove past, the miners' cottages were clean and tidy. In several of the windows were to be seen potted plants, and attached to many cottages were small plots of kitchen and flower gardens, which indicated a taste for the refining occupation of cultivating flowers and plants. It was noticeable that adjoining each cottage there wabadeep hole sank, and these holes, I was informed, were used for the purpose of storing water—the residents of the Peninsula being dependent for their ■ water supply upon the rainfall of the locality. A few minutes' drive brought us into Moonta, and reining np at Beagle-1 hole's Hotel, we were speedily accommodated with comfortable apartments. THE TOWN or MOONTA. Like Kadina, Moonta proper is a corporate town, whose interests are presided over by Mr. C. Drew as Mayor, and Messrs. Farner, Asshefon, Beagtehole, i Rossiter, Harris, .Buzzard, Hague, and1 Bennett as Councillors. 'The townsfolk of: Moonta may be congratulated on faav-, ing a Council, which is characterised by great activity and enterprise, and they evidently appreciate the advantages of municipal institutions, if their appreciation can be judged from tiie fact that the whole of the rates for the first year were collected within ss. 9d.. The Corporation of Moonta was proclaimed on Ist August, 1872. The Council immediately ordered an assessment of the town property to be made, and they declared a rate of Is. in the pound. The total assessment amounted to £7,019 11b., and tile rate realised £350 13s. 9d., the whole of which, as I have said, with the exception of ss. 9cL, was collected within four months. He work of laying out the streets, and forming and metalling the roads, was . immediately commenced, the Government subsidy of £350 13s. 9d. proving of great service in the prosecution of these works. The whole of the rate and Subsidy has been expended, and another rate has already been declared and is in course of collection. This year the assessment has increased to £8,103135. 6d., and the rate will yield it revenue of £405, which with the Government subsidy will place the Council in receipt; of a substantial income for" the purpose of carrying out those works which are found to be very necessary. Moonta is far better situated than Kadina is for the purposes of drainage. The ground on which the town is built is undulating, with a general slope towards "the coast, bo that the drainage of the streets is a comparatively simple undertakmg. It was gratifying to observe the progress which had been made in forming and metalling the roads, in defining the footpaths, making, kerbing, and other similar operations to improve the appearance of the thoroughfares. In addition to the works within the town, tike Council have «lao-undertaken the supervision of the expenditure of a small grant of £500, made by the Commissioner of Public Works for a road between Moonta and Moonta Bay, and of a second grant of £500 upon the road between Moonta and Kadina. These grants are not the result of Parliamentary votes, but are made from a sum of money left in the - hands of the Mminfaw of Public Works for urgent requirements. Moonta is also furnished with some of those conveniences which belong to a well-furnished town. There are a number of licensed cabs, and ? private Company has been formed for supplying the town with gas. This Company is divided into 5,000 shares of £1 each, upon which the whole of the application and allotment calls have been paid. Immediately, therefore, that the Articles of Association have been settled, and the necessary Legislative .authority has been obtained, the Company will commence operations, and it is expected that within six or eight months die gas will be laid on to the town. Altogether Moonta presents the appearance of a, prosperous town. The business establishments, the hotels, the private residences, all indicate a degree of material and substantial prosperity which is very striking, whilst the new buildings which are being erected speak of an advancement which bids fair to still further enhance the importance of the neighborhood. MOONTA BAT JTEETT. Moonta Bay is situated aboni two miles from Moonta, and is the natural shipping place of that town, whilst in the summer months it will be the marine resort of the well-to-do Moonta residents. Already a township—Langport—has been surveyed, and several of the allotments' have been purchased. A hotel is in course of erection there by Mr. Kerison ; and Captain Hancock, of the Moonta Mines, has built a marine villa, which, I dare say, is but the precursor of many <itnwrgtmil^rTiniMitf£?i. The Moonta people complain loudly that Moonta Bay has not been opened up as a shipping place, and their complaint does not certainly appear to be unreasonable. They very naturally say—"Why should we, who have a port at our doors whioh only requires the expenditure of a few thousand pounds to make it available, be compelled to get our goods via Port Wallaroo, at r >. much greater cost than we can have them * landed here at Moonta Bay!" I am J right, I think, in Haying Chat the freight J on the tramway between Port Wallaroo « and Moonta is J?. per ton, and the trades people of Moonta think it unfair that they should have to pay this tax upon their merchandise when mere are natural facilities for supplying their wants at much leas coat within such easy distance. A large trade with Moenta, via Moonta Bay, is nevertheless done, in spite of the want of conveniences afforded. On the afternoon of my visit the Eclipse and Bronzewing were riding at anchor in the Bay, and the Freebridge was coming -in; and on a subsequent occasion when visiting the Bay I saw four schooners engaged in discharging merchandise. The Legislature, in a fit of liberality, voted, two or three yean back, a sum of £2,000 for a jetty at Moonta Bay, but if the members who voted that money could have seen the jetty as I saw it on my first visit, they would have been convinced of the foolish way in which public money is sometimes expended. The tide was in, and the jetty was cut off from the mainland by 200 or 300 feet of water three or four feet in depth. The jetty, in fact, was an island, totally useless for any purposes of transhipment. No approaches have been made to the jetty, and it has evidently been the policy to have the jetty first and make the approaches afterwards. The structure has been carried out to a distance of 350 feet from the starting point, at which distance it goes into 4 ft. 6 water at low tide. Last session a fnrther vote of £1,000 was made to lengthen the jetty, and the contract for the extension has been taken by Mr. Rossiter —his contract time being four months. The jetty is to be extended 200 feet, which will bring it into 6 feet water and make the jetty 650 feet in length. It is represented, however, that a further extension of 200 feet will be necessary, in order to bring the jetty into 11 feet water and enable the vessels which trade with Moonta Bay to come alongside ; and to construct this extension, besides making the approaches between tiie land end of the jetty and the shore, a farther grant of £3,000 will be requisite. An application l will be made to the Parliament in the forthcoming session -for this amount. At present goods are landed in a very primitive way. They are brought in boats from the snip's side into 2 feet water, and drays are taken out to bring the goods to shora. I saw s very large quantity of merchandise scattered on the beach which had been landed in this manner, and exposed to the inclemency of the weather, as there was no provision made to protect it. As much as 150 tons of merchandise are, I was informed, landed weekly, in addition to which from 60 to 70 tons per week go by steamer to Wallaroo, and are conveyed by tramway to Moonta. These figures will give some idea of the value and extent of the shipments to supply the wants of Moonta. Were this bay opened up there would also be a large -export of copper ore from, this place, inasmuch ab, with facilities for shipment, I was assured that it would cost no more to ship ore'from Moonta Bay to the Port Adelaide Smelting Works than it does at present cost to convey the ore by tram-. way to Wallaroo. A farther requirement of the Moonta people is that Moonta Bay should be declared a port of export and import, inasmuch as, at present," goods arriving from beyond the colony have to be taken to Wallaroo to pass the Customs,. thus enhancing the cost of the ' goods. The scheme of opening up Moonta Bay ■is .naturally looked upon with jealousy by ihe people at the rival port—Wallaroo, [have little, to do with the conflicting interests of thV two places, and I only seek to represent what is said to be a great grievance, and to repeat complaints which do not seem, unreasonable, in order to explain 4he«e?r- • ings of a question which ere long is to * engage the attention <of. the Legislature. (To beomtented.)


Thu 12 Jun 1873, The South Australian Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1858 - 1889) Trove

Having written about Kadina and Moonta, I must now refer to the shipping place of the Peninsula—Wallaroo...

Wallaroo is situated about 11 miles from Moonta, and the two places are connected by the tramway belonging to the JTadiim and Wallaroo Railway Company. Taking a seat in the noon track from Hoonta, I arrived, after a pleasant drive, at Wallaroo —a township which is extensive, but which has not made such noticeable strides of progress as hav<s the other towns. Wallaroo is not, like Kadina and Moonta, a corporate town, and of course those advantages which flow from local government are not enjoyed by the residents there, ,and those works which properly come within the jurisdiction of a Town Council are not proceeded with. No roads have been made—no footways formed. Wallaroo is, nevertheless, a busy place, and Bopperts a considerable population. There are several churches, Government buildings, commercial establishments, and private residences, which rise prominently in the township, and indicate that permanence and material advancement which is characteristic also of the other townships to which I have referred. The only public building I entered was the Wallaroo Hospital—a large building, which is far more extensive than the requirements of the place appear to call for. I don't know what amount of money was expended upon it, but there were only three beds in one of the wards, neither of which was occupied; there were no cases in the Hospital, nor had there been, I was informed, for B?me time. It is gratifying to be able to announce such an immunity from accident and sickness as seems to favor the people of the Peninsula ; but, on the other hand, the empty '*"**" condition of the Hospital shows how injudiciously the public money is sometimes voted, when it could lie devoted to much more useful purposes. THE SMELTING WORKS. Each of the Peninsular Townships has some special feature distinguishing it. Kadina has its Wallaroo Mines, and Moonta has its Moonta Mines. - The " lion" of Wallaroo is the smelting works, belonging to the proprietors of the Wallaroo Mines. These works are very extensive, and when approaching the township, either seaward or landward, the numerous chimney stacks which rise skyward, and the long rows of buildings, form the most prominent feature in the view. Mr. J. Harvey is the Superintendent, and Mr. Leyshon Jones is the Manager, and there are about 200 persons—all told employed upon the works. There are 21 calcining kilns and 32 furnaces—comprising 20 reducers, 8 roasters, and 4 refiners. The ore is brought downfrom, the various mines and submitted to the treatment which the several classes require. The ore from the Moonta Mines, being already dressed, is ready for immediate smelting, but the produce of the Wallaroo and other mines, which is not dressed at the mine's mouth, is brought down and broken to the requisite size. The stuff is first thrown into the calcining kilns in order to get rid of the sulphurets. On the floor of these kilns there is placed a ton and a half of wood, and this is covered with a ton and a half of charcoal. The copper ore is then emptied into the kilns, each one of which will hold from 110 to 160 tons of ore. The fuel is then lighted, and the ore is subjected to great heat. It is allowed to remain in the kilns for about seven weeks, when the kilns are opened and the ore, having been thoroughly calcined, is taken to the crushers, where it is pulverised, and thence it is carried to the ore floors and divided into "charges" for the smelters, flux being mixed with the ore to assist the process of smelting. From 50 to 60 tons of ore are crushed per day, and a new and more powerful crusher is in course of erection. The ore is carried in tram-waggons from the ore floors to the smelting furnaces. The charge is emptied into the furnace through a hopper at the top—each charge consisting of between four and five tons. The furnace is heated to a white heat, splendid draught being obtained by the large chimney stacks. In about five hours the ore is reduced, and the furnace is then opened and the slag skimmed off—the molten metal being run off into large rough sand moulds, and these cakes of regulus are then carried to the roasters. The slag is tested for metal, and if it is found to contain metal it has to be run down again. If not, it is wheeled away into the yard. There are 12 roasting furnaces, and each furnace has about five charges per week. The charges yield generally from 2½ to 3 tons of rough copper—the product from the roasting process containing about 60 per cent, of pure copper. The last process is performed by the refiners. There are three refining furnaces, each of which receive about six charges, and the total produce is about 146 tons of pure copper per week. The copper is run out into ingot and cake moulds, and having been allowed to cool, it is carried into the store-house, where, at the time of my visit, I saw a heap of refined copper, which, I was informed, contained 600 tons weight—representing a money value of something like £55,000. The consumption of coal is, as may be imagined, enormous when the works are in fall operation, and several colliers are continually employed in bringing coals from Newcastle, and taking return cargoes of copper ore to the Branch Smelting Works which have been erected at Newcastle for the treatment of low-class ores nearer the coal-pits. At the time of my visit several of the furnaces had been allowed to go out, there not being a suf- ficient stock of ore to supply the demand for the branch works, and to keep employed the fall number of furnaces at Wallaroo. WAIX AROO BiaWAI AND PUCK. These are private works belonging to the Kadina and Wallaroo Railway and Pier Company, and they have proved in the highest degree satisfactory to the shareholders as a dividend-paying investment. Mr. E. A. Schroeder, formerly Dity Surveyor of Adelaide, has been Manager for the Company for about 12 months, and from him I obtained a few itatistics, which will give some idea of ;he traffic which passes over the lines of ho Company. For the year mfling Hatch 31st, 1873, the traffic was as inder:— Topper on (from Moonta) ... 31,000 tons, iask carnage (merohandiae, tie.) 6.400 do. |<?h-- . •■■ 40,000 do. topper (hipped 6,680 do. Topper ore (thorn Kadina) ... 30,000 do lack eaniage (merchandise, be.) 6,900 do. foods, &c, delivered in Wallaroo Township andat Smelting Works 3,700 do. 122,880 do. The extent of line belonging to the iompany, including -all theoianchet, is 3 miles, and the rolling stock comprises 66 trucks, including passenger convey-, noes. About 80 persons are employed, icluding the office staff, mechanics, riven, and laborers. The Wallaroo etty, which affords accommodation for lie shipping trade of Wallaroo, is a strong nd substantial structure. Having spent as much time as I could pare at, Wallaroo, I returned to Kadina ith a view to take the ™«? for Adelaide d the morrow. On nearing FTmiirm Mention was attracted to the large goons on either side of the tramway, hich seemed to place the adjacent tttsges in danger of inundation, hese lagoons were, it appeared, caused y the flood waters which had fallen aring the preceding few days; but ley were swollen by an -unfbrtu?te accident which had happened • the Matta drain—the drain which cares sway the waters of the Wallaroo Lines. The drain had been raptured' f the heavy flood waters, and the earth Iling in had choked the watereoutse.

The obstruction, therefore, formed a dam, and threw back the waters upon the township. A large body of men was immediately set to work to repair the damage, and lead off the accumulated waters. Next morning I started for Adelaide, and for two or three hours we drove through a heavy fog; but when the sun gained power the mist was dispersed, and the remainder of the day was very pleasant. We were an hour late in reaching Adelaide, and it was a great relief to see the city lights, and in a short time to draw up at Cobb & Co.'a office, after a wearisome journey of 13 hoars. Au reeotr to our fellow passengers, and we disperse. WANTS OF THE PENINSULA. I fear that I have unduly tried the patience of my readers in the somewhat detailed account of my visit to the busy mining population on Yorfce's Peninsula, but it has been my endeavor to give as complete a picture of those populous places as the time and information at my disposal would enable me to supply. Those who have done me the honor to read what I have written will, I think, admit that the Peninsular townships have shown a very wonderful development, and that they have assumed an importance second to no other place oat of Adelaide in the colony. I had visited the Peninsula on previous occasions. I had seen the townships in their early history, when .the mines were in their infancy, and again when they had given some signs of permanence, but I' was never more surprised than, on the occasion of my last visit, to see the giant strides of progress which had been made, and the enormous amount of money which had been expended upon the Peninsula. Everything one meets there gives the idea of permanence ; and the mines which have been opened seem inexhaustible in mineral wealth. It is a very singular circumstance—and one which points a moral to many other portions of the colony, which are too apt to rely upon the paternal purse of the Government — that this wonderful development of wealth is entirely the result of private enterprise. The inhabitants have baen self-reliant and enterprising, and, in exemplification of the truth of the adage that Heaven helps them who help themselves, it would appear that the inhabitants have been abundantly blessed. Prosperous and populous settlements an springing up, and comfortable towns are being built, which are supplied with the conveniences of modern life—including even the press, for the Peninsula can boast of possessing three local periodical journals. Not only has private enterprise opened the mines oa the Peninsula, but it has also constructed tramways, built a shipping pier, and carried ont other useful public works which are usually undertaken by the Government. The residents, however, are now beginning to complain that the importance of their neighborhood has not won from the Government and the Legislature some larger recognition than has hitherto been the case. The most urgent want of the people there is the means of communication with the metropolis and the interior districts, and a strong agitation is now being made to secure this desideratum. The opening up of Moonta Bay is another matter deserving attention. It is not for me to sugge?t what roads are necessary or the routes that should be opened up, and inasmuch as local jealousies are evidently beginning to arise, I am the less' inclined to enter upon debateable ground. There are main lines of road, however, which ought to be constructed at the public expense, and miner means of communication also, which I dare say the residents wQI take an opportunity of making known. The residents of the Peninsular townships require to pay heed to the earnest admonitions of their representatives that they most not allow divisions to exist in their camp. Their great wants most be dealt with in a broad and general way, apart altogether from the individual interest or influence of Mr. This or Mr. That, and apart altogether, too, from the fact as to whether, for the general good, some essentially local and minor interests may be injuriously affected.


Thu 19 Mar 1874, South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900) Trove

To above designation may appear some what incongruous in describing the following place but it was used in the first instance, and still continued, in contradiction from the Wallaroo district, which is usually understood by the term Yorke's Peninsula alone. This name is known a tract of country included within the Hundreds of Maitland and Kilkerran, the former being the name also the township which has been laid out in sentral position about midway between thepasts of Spencer's and St. Vincent's Gulf. The surrounding country consists of notne.- but a number of valleys and hilli The soil is of a rich Bay of Biscay charter, equal, I should say, in quality to any the colony. There were about 1,800 acrdn crop last year, and the average yieljwill probably be from fourteen to fifte bushels per acre. Already a number of jtlers have built themselves stone cotfs, although they have had but one sea| on the land, and there is a large qu&y of fallowing done for next season. Thftnd is timbered in belts and patches witleavy mallee scrub, but a great portion ef % which is taken up was free from that obsfction. The work of breaking up the vir&oilis formidable enough nevertheless, the ivy black grass rendering it impossible to i k a single plough with less than four gooliorses. What is known among the Fan b as ' black grass' will be better und tood by the uninitiated if I state that it i|k kind of flat rush which s^ows in clumeor tussocks, the rootlets of which are so toi^that when a strong team of horses are lirork the plough coming in contact with.; s| extra heavy clump is sometimes literallt )rn asunder. This must be something fa. the breaking up of the American prairle,7tiich is generally performed for the settlersit so much per acre by men who make iffcheir special business, and have teams Id implements suitable for the purpos^ The Pr°duce of last year over and above t$ required for seed has been mostly shippedrt; Parara, which is distant from 15 to i|miles, the length depending upon the paruf the area from which the wheat has to l and there being only one track through] te mallee scrub, and that is the old one froj Mr. Kogers's station at the south end of « valley. A direct road has been survey el! from Maitland Township to Ardrosa on the coast, the length of which is 13i ntes. This is now being cleared, as being alpresent dense mallee scrub it is totally if aluable. Some of the fanners on the nontirn part of the Valley have taken their w»t to Moonta, a distance from 25 to 30 lies, and it is probable there will always i'a portion of the produce that will find itsf ay to that market. Oakdene, the head stion of Mr. Samuel Rogers, J.P., is in a Eoiewhat central position in the main valley, adoneitheraideo! it are two wells 150 and 160 eet deep respectively. One of these has beeiieserved on the guarantee of several of the sltlers to maintain it in good order. It is no^being worked by horse-power night and day for which the settlers pay £4 10s. per wee A great number of cattle are watered thereat every day, and the well is sometiici dried ; but the springs are so atroDC tit after a very short stoppage the pnmpin' can be resumed. For drinking water jnjjt of the settlers go to Point Pierce, a distance of some 10 mile* and more, where they cufcin good fresh water from shallow wells in the sand. They hope, however, next ye* to store a sufficient supply from the raiiiill in the tanks and dam3 which they are instructing. The subsoil is of such a nature -Jiat in moBt places merely scooping out wateholesis sufficient. There are men who do this work, having the necesaary appliasca, at 7id. per cubic yard, and but for the diftiedty and expense in obtaining horsefeed it wiuld be done at a considerably lower rate. A number of very large reservoirs are beiDg acl have been taken out for Mr. Eogeri, vho has recently begun farming on a considt»ble scale, and has erected a very fine sttbh about 50 yards long, roofed with galvanhel 'iron. Excellent straight posts for sh&Uts well as fences are obtained from the mallei in the neighbourhood. At Oakdene tier? were geraniums and other dowers, both in iota and in beds, that would do credit to in Adelaide garden; but very little had btti accomplished in horticulture. Several o: the settlers have planted fruit* trees, and believe that they will do weD. The townshhip of Maitland contains two smithies, and a store in full operation, an hotel? built but not yet opened, a butcher's allotment, and one or tw;o private cottages. There is some! very good land to the south of that already occupied. I believe it is surveyed, and many friends of settlers are anxiously awaiting its being thrown open. In other directions there is some second if not first class agricultural land which will Booner or later have to be surveyed. The next place I visited was YAREOO, the residence of Mr. Wm. [Fowler, an old resident on the Peninsula, formerly at Moorowie, already referred to. Five years ago Mr. Fowler decided to remove to the site of his present homestead situate in the midst of his winter run, where he has several thousand acres of freehold land, which he secured before the credit system came in force. In getting to the spot from Maitland the traveller has to pass through some 25 miles of almost unbroken mallee scrub, and having to follow the one track, which is the only feasible way save to an experienced bushman, the distance is rendered much greater than it would be if a straight cut could be made across the country. Mr. Fowler's house, which is substantial and commodious, is situated in an opening in a range of bills a few miles distant from the coast, and though the gully a beautiful view is obtained of the Gulf, a belt of scrub intervening and giving variety to the landscape, while the houses at Port Waketield are viaible in the morning and evening, when the sun's rays fall obliquely upon them. Mr. Fowler had last year 1,000 acres under crop with wheat, and reaped nine bushels per acre, the crop having been merely harrowed in. The previous year his average was nineteen bushels. This year the land will not be cropped, but simply left to grow whatever it will, and fed with sheep, by which means the grass and tnssocks will be thoroughly rotted before being ploughed the second time. A large quantity of fresh land is, however, either already fallowed or being ploughed for sowing this season. The spot which Mr. Fowler selected has been vastly changed, and presents evidence of wise and liberal expenditure. Although this is only the fifth year since the garden was planted, there are pine and poplar trees twelve or fourteen feet high ; fruit-trees of all kinds of nearly equal growth, and already beginning to bear; while oi grapes there are plenty, which, like the other fruit, are of fine quality. The flowers, of which Mrs. Fowler has some choice specimens, present a not less flourishing appearance, bearing in mind the advanced stage of the season. The plan idopted in preparing the garden was subsoil ploughing to the depth of 18 inches, and the result tends to establish the superiority of that system over hand trenchag. It loosens the soil so as to enable the roots of the trees to easily penetrate to a suffix nent depth without burying below the surface »p mould, which is so valuable to the early -rowth of every plant. Besides the more -rdinary kind of fruit trees there are orange nrees in almost as forward a state as those jreviously referred to, and that without any irtificial watering. In the farmyard are itables for about 30 horses, the timber in the ocality affording excellent material for all rinds of aheds as well as fences, the latter -eing formed of stakes driven in the ground, aid then the long supple mallee sticks laced -etween them, thus affording a sheep-fence vhich is unsurpassed and inexpensive, he work of making them being ;enerally done by the blacks, who if they ound in every one as good friends as Mr. ind Mrs. Fowler would have very little ause to complain. A fine substantial stone -arn has been built, capable of holding everal thousand bushels of wheat, and built m the slope of a hill, so that wheat may be 10th taken in and out with a minimum of abour. The side walls are sufficiently trengthened by buttresses so extended as o form, by the extension of the roof, comnodious sheds, which are used for various mrposes. Eight reaping-machines are used it harvest time. A smith's and a carpenter's hop are permanent adjuncts to the establishnent. The land not cropped is used for grazing purposes, and the fine Lincoln sheep o be seen around the homestead are in hemselves a beautiful sight. The whole of ;he water for every purpose is obtained rom either cement tanks or reservoirs — :hiefly the latter — of which there ire a large number in all parts of he ground, and so situated that from a noderate shower several thousand gallons of irater are secured. Yarroo is on the route :rom Port Wakefield to Yorke Valley, and ;o those who are in the habit of travelling in ihat direction the genial welcome and bosjitable entertainment of Mr. and Mrs. Fowler are so well known as to render it a 'avourite place of call. KTJLPARA 3 a small township, which, is to be after April next the station from which the branch nail will start to Yorke Valley and the southern townships of the Peninsula. In the hundred which bears the same name there is i. good deal of cultivation at open places, the largest of which is known by the name of 'The Cocoanut,' while some distance beyond, in a southerly direction, the Kalkabury Area plainly shows itself. The cultivation there has not been very extensive, a large portion of the land being covered with 3crub. What has been under crop has yielded well. The average of this and Kulpara Hundred will probably not be less than 12 bushels per acre. Water is a vary scarce commodity. There is none but what is caught and stored, and the inhabitants do not appear to have made sufficient provision jor a dry season such as the last, and are now many of them carting from Kadina and the Hummocks. There is a Government dam at Kulpara, which has still a moderate supply, but the use of that is very properly reBtricted to bona fide travellers. If it were not bo the supply would soon disappear. The line of the Port Wakefield and Kadina Railway I crossed between Kulpara and Mr. Fowler's, through whose ground it runs for some distance. From the top of the range, which is a kind of spur from the Hummocks, there is a clear view of Green's Plains, and Moonta and Kadina may be seen beyond.


This mine is situated a short distance from the beaten track between Clinton and Parara, at the head of a small gully surrounded on three sides with mallee scrub. There are six cottages, besides the smith's shop and Captain Tregoweth's residence. The number of men in the employ of the Company is twenty. A considerable pile of stuff has been turned out from the mine, and the place has a promising appearance. The Company have endeavoured, as far as possible, to avoid heavy expenditure above ground, but it was necessary the men should have places to live in, so they have either built or supplied the timber for several of the cottages. They have also taken out two large tanks to secure a supply of water, and when they once get tilled they will have abundance to last through even a dry season. The main shaft has been taken down 30 fathoms. At the 20-fathom level some rich ore was obtained, and it is hoped that in a short time the lode will be 'fit to save,' but that happy stage has not yet been arrived at. There are a few tons of dressable stuff at the rorface, containing for the most part grey ore with a little yellow. The men have been engaged during the last few days in timbering the shaft, which is gointr down the course of the lode with an underlay of two feet in the fathom. 'Whenever the mine yields payable ore the cartage will be a very inexpensive affair, as the site of Ardrossan is only distant from one and a half to two miles. A township has been laid out there by the Government, and it is presumed a jetty will be erected, as until that is done the township can be of no service whatever as a shippingplace. In the absence of sheep, which are very scarce in the neighbourhood, the miners obtain large quantities of crabs from the coast. I saw two of them returning with half a sackful, which they had caught while I was looking at the mine. GENERAL. In what I have written of my few days of travel from Edinburgh to the northern end of the Peninsula, I have not attempted to give a detailed account either of the settled or the unsettled land of Yorke'a Peninsula, which is a tract of country nearly equal in txtent to the whole of the settled districts north of Adelaide as far as the Burra. A ; portion of this is no doubt of a nature that will never he fit for anything other than sheep-feeding; but there are many hundreds of miles, generally between the scrub. and the sea-shore, of a fair arable nature, which will sooner or later be peopled with an' agricultural population. The southern end, at the Troubridge, Area has already established a' reputation as an agricultural district, although what has been brought under crop is but a small portion of what is still left to be subdued. Standing on elevated points one may see clearings and stubble-fields all around, but still they are surrounded with sheaoak forests. Dummyism has had not a little to do in retarding cultivation, as many square-mile blocks of the best of the land have been taken up and used for nothing but sheep-feeding. As long, however, as the improvements were made and the men resided on the land there was no impeaching their position, and many of the agreements have actually been concluded and the fee-simple of the sections obtained. There was no mistaking the dummy blocks taken up under the old Act, but with the present law and compulsory cultivation the distinction is less palpable, although the system has not been altogether extinguished. /Postal facilities have been extended to meet the wants of the increasing number of settlers, and after this month there will be a mail twice a week to and from Kulpara, and thence connecting with Adelaide and the Wallaroo townships. The mail will arrive at Weaner's Flat on Wednesdays and Saturdays at about 2 o'clock, and from thence there are branch, services to Edithburgh, Penton Vale, and Oyster Bay, and the Peesey Range. There is also a mail once a week across the Gulf from Glenelg, which has been secured after a long and arduous struggle by the advocates of Edithburgh, and with anything but a head wind the communication by this means is considerably faster than by any other. On the other hand the land service, though, taking longer, is certainly more reliable. A stir is now being made to obtain the benefits of telegraphic communication, which, in view of the proposal of the Marine Board, there should be little difficulty in accomplishing. The construction of a line from Kulpara or some other point on the existing line to Cape Spencer would be an inexpensive work compared with the other schemes which have been mooted for tbe purpose of ? btaining early intelligence of ships entering he Gulf, while the wire would pass through settled country where danger of injury and expense of repair would be reduced to the minimum, besides the important facilities hat would be afforded to a large number of settlers. The most direct route would be a ia Yorke Valley and Weaner's Flat; but he people at Edithburgh would not be satisfied without at least .. a branch, and I believe they advocate the line being taken along the eastern coast, which would accommodate Parara or ArdroBsan, and Stansbury, Oyster Bay, both places at which large and annually increasing quantities of wheat will be shipped. The reply of the Treasurer to the Marine Board's recommendation for the building of a lighthouse at Cape Spencer seems to indicate that some time will elapse before that fer accomplished, but that will be no reason why the telegraph should not be extended very shortly, at least to the settled districts of the Peninsula, so affording immediate communication to that part of the country, while it will also be an important step towards the accomplishment at a future date of the other object. ^^^^^^^^^^^^ Pabliamektaby Lakouage.— The New South Wales Assembly seems to bo gaining an unfortunate character for the use of improper language in debate. Tbe Empire of March 3 says: — 'Never, perhaps, during the course of our Parliamentary history was it more necessary or even urgent for us to remonstrate with members of the Assembly for their conduct in the House. During the course of Friday night's business the Speaker was appealed to eleven times to rule whether language used was improper, and in five or six instances he declared it to be 4 disorderly and unparliamentary.1 On Thursday night, tired with the repeated challenges from both sides, he gave in, and owned 'that language of tbe kind ought not to be used in debate, but it had now become so common to indulge in it that it appeared to have almost lost its significance. Honourable members did not seem to be aware of the kind of language they used.' On Friday these disgraceful scenes were renewed, with, if possible, greater violence and animosity than before.' e& The Late Victobian Assembly.— The Melbourne Daily Telegraph does not appear. to entertain a nigh opinion of the now departed Lower House of Victoria, or the system of payment of members, upon which its existence was based. The paper mentioned concludes a leading article upon the subject as follows : — II It was a special feature connected with the defunct House that it contained an unusually large proportion of new men; for of the Beventyeight gentlemen who held seats in it, twentyeight had never taken any part in Parliamentary life before, and with respect to the great majoity of them it will be no loss to the country hould their maiden attempt prove their only opportunity to act a3 legislators. Here again he system of salaried representatives has to bear the blame, not only of furnishing the country with incapable men, but of doing_ bo to the exclusion of old and experienced politicians. The approaching contests should, however, weed ut some of the appiring nonentities who obtained seats at the last general election, and have had the opportunity since to prove what extraordinary mistakes electors are liable to make when they have to use the ballot-box.' Colonial Bats.— Mr. Peck, of Morphetb Vale, has sent to Yorke's Peninsula two colonial-made bats for presentation to the highest scorer in each team at the forthcoming: ? match with the All-England Eleven.