THE boom in the Witwatersrand gold mines in 1895 has been attributed, in part at least, to the famous Report made by Herr Schmeisser to the Prussian Government in 1893. Moreover, it is always refreshing to the investing public, weary of the perennial optimism of the ordinary mining expert, to come across an unprejudiced account of a gold-field written by a man whose reputation and experience give his statements the prestige of a Government Report. A peculiar interest therefore attaches to the appearance of this book, seeing that, with the recent enormous increase in the production of gold, it might have had a great effect on the fortunes of West Australia. It may, however, be said at once that Herr Schmeisser does not take any definite stand with regard to the land of “sand and sorrow.” Certain districts, indeed, he condemns utterly as containing only lodes which pinch out and disappear completely at a very moderate depth, so that they may be expected to cease producing before long. As to other cases, he is still more pessimistic, believing that they depend entirely on pockets of rich ore, which are worked out almost immediately. Moreover, he fears that the generally patchy nature of the lodes will cause many disasters to companies now at work with available capital so small that development and prospecting are checked, and the miners will presently have barren reefs only in sight and no money to search for further rich deposits.
The Gold-fields of Australasia.
By Karl Schmeisser, Obergrath, assisted by Bergassessor Dr. Karl Vogelsang; translated by Henry Louis, M.A., A.R.S.M., F.G.S., &c, Professor of Mining, Durham College of Science. Pp. 254 + xx. With 13 maps and plans in a separate volume. (London: Macmillan and Co., Ltd. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1898.)
The Witwatersrand Gold-fields Banket and Mining Practice.
By S. J. Truscott. Pp. xxiii + 495. (London: Macmillan and Co., Ltd. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1898.)
Transactions of the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy, London.
Seventh Session, 1897–98. Vol. vi. Edited by Arthur C. Claudet Pp. vi + 348. (London: Broad Street House, 1898.)
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The Gold-fields of Australasia The Witwatersrand Gold-fields Banket and Mining Practice Transactions of the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy, London. Nature 59, 482–483 (1899) doi:10.1038/059482a0