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 Fourth Annual Report
British Columbia.
VICTORIA: Printed by Richard Wolfenden, Government Printer,
at the Government Printing Office, James' Bay.
1878.  41 Vic. Eeport op the Minister op Mines. 393
Minister  of  Mines
FOR  THE  YEAR 1877.
To His Excellency A. N. Richards, Lieutenant-Governor of the Provide of
British Columbia.
May it please Your Excellency:—
I have the honour herewith to present to Your Excellency the Fourth
Report of the Mining industries of the Province.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
I have the honour to be,
Your Excellency's obedient Servant,
Provincial Secretary $ Minister of Mines.   -
Is* February, 1878.
The amounts actually exported by the Banks during the year 1877 are as
follow :—
Bank of British Columbia  $353,254 16
Bank of British North America    497,748 65
Garesche, Green & Co     355,133 48
1,206,136 29
Adding one-third for gold exported in private hands    40^,045 43
Gives a total yield of $1,608,182 72
Even the most careful and painstaking officer cannot estimate the gold taken
out with even an approximation to correctness.
The total yield for 1876 was estimated by the Gold Commissioners and
Government Agents at $980,671 ; but the Banks alone exported more than
$350,000 over that amount, and a large sum must be added for gold exported
otherwise than through the Banks. One-third is the estimate of the gold so leaving
the Province ; but, at any rate, the returns from the Banks are absolutely correct,
and afford solid ground for estimating the total yield. 394 Report op the Minister op Mines. 1877
For the second time in the history of British Columbia, the old mining district
of Cariboo stands pre-eminently forward. Ever since 1863 companies have from
time to time been formed, and large sums expended, in the endeavour to find gold
quartz in paying quantities. Unfortunately, the necessary technical knowledge
was wanting, and failure the result.
In May last, the Provincial Government—in addition to having offered a
bonus, under certain conditions, to the company which should first erect a ten-
stamp quartz mill in Cariboo—wrote to Mr. Booker, Her Majesty's Consul at San
Francisco, asking him if he would kindly employ, on its behalf, the services of
"some person skilled in quartz." The Province was indeed fortunate in Mr.
Booker's selection, for Mr. Harper's great knowledge and experience in lodes and
ores are undoubted, and have been of the greatest possible use in the, so far, successful developments which have been made during the past season. A year ago
the miners of Cariboo, after long and patient struggling, had nearly given up all
hope; to-day everybody is looking forward to an era of prosperity which, in the
opinion of the well-informed, will even exceed that of the palmy days of 1862-3-4-5.
Confidence and activity have been substituted for despondency and apathy, and
even at this season of the year, with many feet of snow on the mountains, men are
out in all directions prospecting for ledges.
The yield of gold from the alluvial claims in Cariboo has doubtless fallen off;
it is probable, however, that such has not been the case to the extent estimated by
the Government Agent.
It is greatly to be regretted that the Victoria Company, on Cunningham
Creek, have been obliged to abandon their ground.
The reports received from the Government Mining Engineer, and the Government Agent at Cariboo, will no doubt be read with interest.
"Barkerville, July 21st, 1877.
" The Hon. the Minister of Mines.
"Sir,—Since my arrival in Cariboo 1 have examined two well defined ledges in the
vicinity of Barkerville, and veins at tho head of Burns Creek, from which a specimen
of ore, rich in gold, had been taken, which, upon examination, I found to be a detached
spur from a ledge situated at a higher level, and therefore of little or no value.
" I have confined my attention to ledges in the immediate vicinity of Barkerville,
owing to their accessibility, which is an important consideration in the transportation
of heavy machinery and the favourable conditions under which rock can be extracted
and.sent to the mill.
" On my return from San Francisco, I shall examine and report upon the lodes
situated at a greater distance which I may deem of sufficient importance to bring under
your notice.
"The Big Bonanza ledge, situated on the summit of the mountain at the back of
Barkerville, is a true fissure vein, having well defined walls running nearly east and
west, with a pitch to the north at an angle of about twenty degrees. The ledge is
twelve feet in width, containing milling ore, about four feet of which can be assorted
for milling purposes, judging by the favourable surface indications obtained in the cut
run across its width, which would probably increase in value at a greater depth. Some
of the quartz was sent to Mr. Hitchcock, the Government Assayer, and a result
obtained was gold, 1 oz. 6 dwt. 3gr.; silver, 3 oz. 2 dwt. 1 gr.
" I next examined the Steadman ledge at Bichfield, upon which a shaft has been
sunk by the Cariboo Quartz Mining Company to a depth of fifty feet. Owing to a miscalculation of the contractor in sinking where it cropped out on the surface, without taking
into consideration the dip of the vein, only the footwall was visible. The ledge is well
developed and contains rock which will defray the expenses of milling, and will more
fully exhibit the characteristics of a gold-bearing ledge at a lower level. I regret, for
the reason above stated, that I was unable to form an opinion conceiving the hanging 41 Vic. Report op the Minister op Mines. 395
wall, which my experience leads mo to believe contains vein matter of a richer character.
The assays obtained from the ledge exhibited 13 dwt. 1 gr. gold, and 3 oz. 15 dwt. and
3 gr. silver, to the ton. I have inspected the four stamp mill at Bichfield and found it
deficient in two of the most important requisites for the saving of gold which contains
enough silver to prevent its being arrested by quicksilver, viz:—an amalgamating pan and
settler; owing to the absence of which, and the want of sufficient experience, no appreciable amount of tho precious metal contained in the ore could be obtained.
" I have had several interviews with the Directors of the Cariboo Quartz Mining
Company, and have given them what information lay in my power for the successful
development of this important source of wealth. These gentlemen coincided with my
views, and arrangements have been made for me to purchase the required apparatus for
the present mill, in San Francisco, and also to engage the services of a thoroughly
competent amalgamator, assayer, and panman, without whose skill and experience the
best of machinery would be of no avail, for which purpose it is my intention to leave
here by the next steamer in order to effect a return at as early a date as possible.
" I considered it necessary that the small mill be first put in working order, as the
proper opening of a mine for the economical extraction of ore to keep a ten stamp mill
going will necessitate considerable delay and expense. The latter will require about
seven hundred tons of rock a month; only three hundred tons of which will be considered of sufficient value for milling. In the meantime, the small one can be kept at
work developing the lode and testing its value, which I am confident will attract the
attention of capitalists and enable the present company to raise the extra amount
required, in addition to the Government loan, for the erection of more extensive
machinery, thereby paving the way to remunerative employment, stimulating every
branch of business, and launching the Cariboo district on a new tide of prosperity, which
will increase with the lapse of time.
" I have, etc.,
(Signed) "R. B. Harper."
" Barkerville, October 13th, 1877.
" The Hon. the Minister of Mines.
" Sir,—I have the honour to report that the Cariboo Quartz Mining Co's. tunnel, for
the purpose of intersecting the Big Bonanza ledge at a lower level, is in a distance of
110 feet, leaving 50 feet more to be accomplished. The rock run through is a black
slate, and exhibits small seams of quartz pitching in the direction of the lode. The rock
in the face, at present, is so very hard as to greatly retard the progress hitherto made,
and its completion will probably not occur before the end of this month.
" The St. Lawrence Co., situated at the eastern extremity of the Big Bonanza, have
run a cut across tfie vein. This portion of the lode has well defined vertical walls, the
vein matter, containing a small percentage of iron pyrites, lead, and blende, assays
from $6 to $35 per ton.
" The American Mine, belonging to the same company, has had a cut run across the
seam, which exposed rock of the same quality as that contained in the St. Lawrence.
" The Binkerton Mine adjoins the American. The ledge in this locality crosses
Lowhee Creek in the Victoria Co's. ground, at a depth of 150 feet from the surface, and
I availed myself of the permission, obtained from the latter company, to descend into
their diggings and inspect the remarkable body of ore upon which the foregoing and
subsequent claims are located. The ground, which formerly covered it, having been
removed by drifting, I had no difficulty in forming an opinion so favourable, with regard
to its permanent and remunerative character as a gold-bearing ledge, that not a doubt
remains in my mind as to the great influence its development will eventually have in
the welfare of the district and the Brovince in general.
"Assays, from quartz taken at this depth, average $36 in gold to the ton, with a
small proportion of silver. The ledge is about 23 feet wide, and the deposit seems
almost inexhaustible.
"The next location, owned by Mi*. T. Harper, has been amalgamated with the
preceding mine, and ore is now being hoisted in the Victoria Co's, shaft, from which a
good return is anticipated, 396 Report op the Minister of Mines. 187?
" The Enterprise Mine, to the west of the above-mentioned, is owned by some of the
most prominent citizens of Barkerville, and is, I consider, one of the best locations on
the Big Bonanza, possessing as it does all the most favourable features of the preceding
claims, and enjoying the additional advantage of being well situated for an economical
extraction of the mineral it contains, without resorting to the expensive machinery for
hoisting and pumping purposes.
" The Steadman lode, at Bichfield, improves in appearance as work progresses. The
vein matter carries a largo quantity of iron, blende, and lead. Assays therefrom, vary
from $16 to $20 per ton. A better knowledge as to its average value will, however, be
ascertained in about a month, as the mill is now engaged in crushing some of the rock.
" The Foster Mine, Chisholm Creek (which empties into Lightning Creek at the town
of Stanley), has, so far, given the best assay returns, ranging from $120 to over $700
per ton. The vein, on the surface, is divided into three stringers, running parallel to
each other, which will be found to unite at a lower depth and present a compact body
of ore. A shaft has been sunk'to a depth of 18 feet, with such promising indications
that measures will be taken, in the ensuing spring, with a view to its thorough exploration.
" There has been considerable work done on tho Montgomery extension, situated on
the same ledge, in running cuts through the gravel to intersect the vein, which has not
yet been found. It is my conviction that a more careful search will reveal its presence,
concealed from view, under slide bed-rock.
" The Foster extension, located south of the last mentioned, met with a similar
difficulty in finding the reef, which was covered with an alluvial deposit of considerable
depth, but lately their exertions have proved successful, and work thereon will be
energetically prosecuted next year.
" The test mill at Bichfield, with a crushing capacity of about four tons per day,
started to crush on Monday, 8th instant, since which time it has been running in a most
satisfactory manner, for which great credit is due to Messrs. Nason and St. Lawrence
whose exertions have so much contributed to its present efficient condition.
"In conclusion, 1 beg to return my sincere thanks to the Directors of the Cariboo
Quartz Mining Company and other gentlemen for the assistance and information which
have been so cheerfully accorded me on all occasions.
" Feeling that my humble endeavours to assist in developing the rich resources of
the Cariboo District will be amply rewarded by the. success which will certainly ensue,
"I have, etc.,
(Signed) "E. B. Harper."
"Victoria, B.C, 18th December, 1877.
" Sir,—Being on the eve of leaving the Brovince for some months, I deem it advisable
to supplement my reports of last summer by a short summing up of the season's work in
Cariboo with reference to the development of quartz:
"The Cariboo Quartz Mining Company have crushed forty-one tons of ore taken from
the Steadman ledge with an average result of $18 to the ton. This ore was taken from
a cut in the creek, having a vertical depth of 18 feet, and the appearance of the rock in
the bottom of the cut is richer than that where it was commenced.
"The same company's tunnel on the Bonanza ledge has been run in for the distance
of 160 feet; at the distance of 138 feet the lode was intersected and run through; its
width at this point being 22 feet and its depth from the surface 52 feet. The assays
from this rock averaged $33 per ton. I may add that 8 assays were made and the
average result taken from all. On the surface, this rock only averages $14 to the ton,
the inference being that the ore increases in richness at the lower level. 3,000 feet beyond,
I visited the Victoria shaft and found the same lode at a vertical depth of 350 feet below
the surface where the rock was taken which averaged $14 to the ton. At this point, the
assays ranged from $24 to $36 per ton, and the ledge at this depth has a width of 30 feet.
" Work has been done on the Foster ledge, Chisholm Creek; a shaft has been sunk
to the depth of thirty-three feet, and the indications are so favourable that the company
are preparing to run a tunnel.
"Many other companies are prospecting for quartz in Cariboo, but I am not in a
position to report on them. 41 Vic. Report of the Minister op Mines. 897
" I may state, in conclusion, that I have formed a favourable opinionof the Steadman
and Bonanza ledges—the only two which, so far, have been really tested.
" I have, &c,
(Signed) "E. B. Harper.
" The Hon. A. C. Elliott, Minister of Mines."
" To the Honourable A. C. Elliott, " October 19th, 1877.
"Minister of Mines,
"Sir,—I have the honour to enclose herewith, forms containing mining statistics,
embracing operations in this district (exclusive of Keithley Creek Boiling Division) for
the first nine months of the present year.
" It will be observed that a material decrease in the gross yield of gold of the
district, as compared with the same period in last year, has taken place.
" Considerable prospecting has been going on during the summer on various creeks
and gulches, but no discoveries of moment have been made.
" I regret to say the Victoria Co., of Cunningham Creek, whose exertions have been
watched with much interest the past year, have, after expending some $35,000, taken
their pumps out of the shaft and abandoned the ground, having thoroughly tested the
channel, but without finding ground to pay.
"Two companies on Canon Creek are still prospecting, with every hope of success.
"On Jack of Club's Creek, a company (the Sincock Co.) formed for the purpose of
prospecting for a hill channel, have sunk two shafts 50 feet deep, as yet without succeeding in their object.
" The early resumption of work by the Lane & Kurtz Company is a matter for
congratulation. The benefit to the district to be derived from the successful prosecution
of this undertaking can hardly be over-estimated, many of our most experienced miners
being of opinion that the work, if properly carried on, will prove highly remunerative
to the company.
" The yield of gold from most of the old, well-known creeks, excepting Lightning,
will be found to be about equal to that of last year.
" The yield of gold for nine months, as per statistics, is found to be $391,402
" Estimated amount taken out by various companies that have not
reported to the collectors  20,000
"Of the above amount the Bank of British North America, Stanley, purchased $186,177
"The Bank of British Columbia, Barkerville   156,100
"Leaving amount in private hands     69,125
$411,402  $411,402
" Quarts.
"I am much pleased to report upon the progress made in developing this most
important branch of mining industry. I have referred to the number and extent of our
quartz veins in my former reports, but no definite knowledge of their remunerative
value existed until the advent to Cariboo of the Government Mining Engineer, Mr. E.
B. Harper, in July last; and as that gentleman's report has been made to you, I need
but to say that the utmost confidence is reposed in Mr. Harper by the whole community,
and that but one opinion prevails, viz., that an era of prosperity is about to dawn on
Cariboo, surpassing the palmy days of 1863.
"Thirty-six quartz mining claims of 1,500 feet each, in all 54,000 feet, have been
made since Mr. Harper's arrival, upon some of which work is being prosecuted with
vigour. I may mention particularly two companies, the Cariboo Quartz Mining Company and the Enterprise Company. The former have two locations, the Steadman, a
real estate claim, and a pre-emption on the Bonanza lode. The company is now
running a tunnel on the Steadman vein, whence the rock, after being sorted, is hauled
on a tramway to the mill and crushed. It is from this lode that the first test is being
made, probably 40 or 50 tons. When tho result is ascertained, a test will then be made
from the Bonanza location, a tunnel being run through bed-rock to cross-cut this ledge, 398 Report op the Minister of Mines. 1877
It is expected that by the time the test is made from the Steadman, this tunnel will
have opened up the vein at about 50 feet deep.
" Tho Enterprise Company, situated on the west side of Lowhee Creek, on what is
supposed to be an extension of the Bonanza ledge, is about to let a contract for about
200 feet of bed-rock tunnel to cross-cut tho ledge at about 200 feet deep. This claim is
very favourably located for prospecting ; the face of the mountain being precipitous,
will admit of comparatively short tunnels cutting the ledge at very great depth.
"The four-stamp test quartz mill is now running night and day, and appears to do
good work.    No wash-up has yet been made.
" Believing that quartz mining in this district is destined to take precedence in the
future, I have endeavoured to ascertain the approximate cost of working the ledges,
and find, upon the best information obtainable, that mining and milling the ore with a
ten-stamp mill will cost from $10 to $12 per ton, which will vary according to circumstances ; but in so far as our present experience can guide us, ores can be reduced
without the use of expensive processes.
" 1 have, etc.,
(Signed) "John Bowron,
" Government Agent."
" Bichfield, December 22nd, 1877.
" Sir,—I have tho honour to inform you that since my last report tho active
working of quartz mining renders a supplementary report necessary.
" The crushing from tho Steadman claim of the Cariboo Company has been completed, resulting in a gold bar of the value of $341 81, obtained from forty tons of rock.
This may be considered a highly satisfactory result, the whole of the rock crushed
being from a cut on the surface from six to ten feet deep. The pulp assayed $15, but
the quicksilver was not retorted, the company having only a small retort.
"The same company have run a tunnel cutting the Big Bonanza lode at a depth of
about 50 feet. The assays in crossing the ledge vary from $10 to $92. Five assays
recently made from different parts of the ledge give an average of $33 70. The drift is
being extended in a S.E. direction, running on the lode toward the huge mass of quartz
shewing on the surface, from which the ledge takes its name. The ledge where the
tunnel crosses it is 20 feet wide.
"The result of such a favourable test from the Steadman, and the assays made on
the Bonanza, have created quite an excitement throughout the district. The Bonanza,
or what is believed to be an extension of it, having been staked to the head of Bed
Gulch, a number of companies are now actively engaged upon it.
"The Enterprise Co., referred to in my last report, have run their tunnel in bedrock about 100 feet.    They will cut the ledge about 150 feet deep.
" On the old Wilkinson ledge the British Columbia Gold and Silver Milling and
Mining Company have a location on which they are working. Extending east from this
company's ground is the Berseverance Co., in whose claim, from a stratum of decayed
quartz four feet wide, dipping toward the main lode, an assay has been made of $155 to
the ton. The further locations extend to where the ledge crosses Grouse Creek. This
lode is now believed to be the Steadman, and the impression among many is that the
Steadman and Bonanza lodes are the same, forming one monster fissure, believed to
reach from Grouse Creek to the head of Bed Gulch, and, singularly enough, all the
streams that cross it have been rich in alluvial deposits.
"The general bearing of this ledge would appear to be from due east and west to
18° north of west, with a northerly dip.
"From the Cariboo Co. location on the Steadman to the same company's claim on
the Bonanza, several companies are actively at work. The result of the working in tho
Tahoe, the Vivian, and the Cooper Companies will prove or disprove this theory.
" Some work has been done, but I have no further developments to report, on
Chisholm and Davis Creek lodes.
"On the Hood's lode, which crosses William Creek about half a mile above Bichfield, and runs parallel to the Steadman, several companies have located chdms.
" In all there have been 82 quartz claims recorded in the months of November and
Peoember. 41 Vic. Report op the Minister op Mines. 399
" In consequence of the attention it has attracted, and its undoubted value, I deemed
it advisable to employ Mr. O. Travaillot to make a tracing of the Bonanza lode as far
as surveyed, which I forward by this mail.
" I have, etc.,
(Signed) "JohnBowron,
" To the Hon. the Minister of Mines, " Government Agent.
" Victoria, B. C."
The Government Agent at the Forks of Quesnelle, acting for the Keithley
Creek section of the Cariboo District, has naturally but little to report upon which
could be considered of much interest to the general public. It is satisfactory,
however, to observe that Keithley Creek—discovered in 1861—still continues to
yield gold in paying quantities. The great bulk of the mining population in this
section is composed of' Chinese, from whom it is impossible to obtain returns even
approximately accurate.
" Forks Quesnelle, B. O,
" October 10th, 1877.
" Sir,— I have the honour to forward herewith my report of the mining statistics of
Keithley Division, Cariboo District, compiled from information gathered on my annual
visit to the claims, and in most cases obtained from the actual owners. I consider it a
fair estimate of the yield of gold.
" The white miners in all cases give the necessary information, but the Chinese
(with whom I have most to do) are untruthful, and suspicious that by asking such
questions I have a further design on their pockets; however, those among them who
have been in the country for some years, know what is wanted, and give tolerably
correct information.
" I am sorry to have to report that the outlying creeks have not improved any since
last year. On my visit to Harvey Creek, I found two companies at work; they were
not taking out any gold just then, but their prospects are good for the winter season.
Keithley Creek seems to hold out well, and is the chief place of mining and business in
that section, and the miners on all the creeks in that part of the district depend on the
Keithley Creek traders for their supplies. In the statistics forwarded, I have only been
able to give the yield of gold for the summer season; of the winter's mining on the rivers
I am able to speak only from report, but think there might be $7,000 or $8,000 added to
statistics for winter's work. " I have, etc.,
(Signed) "W. Stephenson,
" To the Hononrable " Government Agent,
the Minister of Mines."
The gold yield of this mining district slightly declined during the past year,
but the season was a most unfavourable one for mining, and the report of the Gold
Commissioner may on the whole be considered encouraging.
McDame Creek has not sustained the high opinion formerly held of it by
miners. Its 1st North Fork, however, is apparently rich, the pay-dirt in one
tunnel having yielded 136 oz. to five sets of timbers, and prospects found in other
tunnels are equally indicative of rich ground.
The discovery, by Mr. Walker, of a new creek on a different range is most
important; it will, in all probability, open up a new mining district. The prospect
obtained—60 oz. for 48 days' work—is really a good one, and it would appear that
paying ground extends for at least 2J miles. The gold being obtained in a "different range from that in which previous discoveries have been made," is a fact of
much significance to the piactical miner.
It is hoped, and expected with confidence, that the approaching mining season
will he a more prosperous one than the last. Two reports from the Gold Commis»
sioner are published herewith. 400 Report op the Minister op Mines. 1877
"Laketon, Cassiar, October 1st, 1877.
"Sir,—I have the honour to enclose herewith the Mining Statistics for 1877; and,
also, to furnish the following particulars in reference to the general progress, &c, of the
District of Cassiar during the present year.
"Although the mild winter of 1876-77 and the following spring promised a more
favourable season than usual, I regret that such it has not proved to be.
"A succession of freshets throughout the season rendered the creeks unworkable
until within the last six weeks, and a similar recurrence of mud slides considerably
retarded mining operations in the hills and benches; and in some instances, as regards
the latter, so much damage has been done that the labour of the season has failed to
put them in good working order.
"Dease Creek suffered most from the incessant rains, and the returns from that
creek are in consequence far below what they otherwise would have been. The majority
of claims in that creek have been transferred to the Chinese, and consequently much
loss is entailed upon the hill claim-holders, who, although the creek has once been
worked out by the whites, are still unable to open their ground.
"Thibert Creek has done comparatively well; the hills prospect very favourably,'
and I have no doubt that, should next season prove favourable to mining operations, its
returns for 1878 will fully double those of the present year.
"McDame Creek has confirmed my previous reports, inasmuch as it is to a degree
'spotted,' and nothing like a 'lead' has as yet been found.
"Snow Creek has not realized the expectations of last autumn, a few claims only
having yielded richly.
"The 1st North Fork (McDame Creek) has turned out very satisfactorily. The
last ' wash-up' from the Dawson & Phillips tunnel (5 sets) yielded 136 ounces, or about
$154 a day to the hand. The tunnels that have struck bed-rock above them on that
creek have obtained prospects equally encouraging.
"Nothing definite is as yet known as regards the 3rd North fork (McDame Creek).
Prospecting by tunnel is still carried on with favourable anticipations as to the result.
" The late discovery, Walker's Creek, is worthy of notice as prospecting well, offering remunerative employment to, it is estimated, at least a coupie of hundred miners,
and tending to open up an entirely new section of this district. It is situated in a different range from that in which the previous discoveries have been made, and there is
every hope that it will prove the nucleus of gold fields as valuable and extensive as any
Cassiar has heretofore produced.
" Several applications under the " Mineral Ordinance, 1877," have been received,
and, owing to the energy and enterprise of J. W. McKay, Esq., an arastra has been
erected near Glenora, for the purpose of testing some rock taken from lodes in that
vicinity. Mr. McKay has been untiring in his endeavours to develop that branch of
mining in this district, but, owing to the great expense attending such an undertaking
and to the little interest bestowed upon it by others, the practical results arrived at are
of little consequence, further than to prove that this is a country rich in quartz, possessing every indication of valuable mineral deposits.
" Attempts have been made this year to grow grain and vegetables in the district;
I am happy to say that very favourable results were arrived at, and that for the future
many thousands of dollars, which hitherto went to a foreign market for the purchase
of such necessaries, will henceforth be expended in our own country and district.
" Seven pre-emptions under the " Land Act, 1875," have been recorded.
" Packing across the portage from Telegraph Creek to the head of Dease Lake,
owing to the excellence of our trails, &c, has been done this year at the rate of seven
cents per pound instead of from ten to fifteen cents, as paid during last season.
" The mines have been well supplied with provisions during the past year, and a
tendency, though slight, has been exhibited towards a reduction in the price of merchandise generally. The prices still demanded are, however, high, and 1 fear that
there is no immediate likelihood of there being any material reduction.
" The number of men here this season, exclusive of Indians, did not at any timo
exceed 1,200, of these between 300 and 400 were Chinese.
" Owing to the unprofitable excitements of the spring, I regret to be obliged to
report that many of the miners were little better than destitute, and had not, in many
cases, the means of paying their way out of the country.   There have, however, beea 41 Vio. Report of the Minister op Mines, 401
fewer cases of sickness during the year, and the number of deaths has been 5 as against
11 in 1876.
" It is very gratifying to me to be able to state that there have been no criminal
cases, and with the exception of one robbery, supposed to have been committed by
Chinamen, no crime has been committed in the district.
" The returns, as near as can be estimated from the closest enquiries, are as follow
from the different creeks, viz.:—
Dease   Creek,        $ 81,300 00
Thibert Creek,     $173,700 00
McDame Creek,        $144,800 00
Amount taken out, of which no definite returns could be procured say $45,000, which,with
the sum of $55,000 allowed for the probable yield from the date upon which the statistics were completed until the 31st December next, will bring the gross amount to
$499,830 00.
" Considering the many difficulties which have besot the miners, and the fact that
there have not been as many engaged this year, 1 think that, on the whole, the results
for 1877 ai'e not unfavourable, but rather go to prove that Cassiar stands to-day a
mining district second to none in the Province as regards the number of men it employs,
its great extent, its prospects, and the fact that it is as yet, except as regards a very
limited portion of it, undeveloped.
" A severe winter is anticipated.
" I beg to enclose herewith notice of the laying over of the claims in the Cassiar
District, also a list of the prices current.
" I have, etc.,
(Signed) " Arthur W. Vowell,
" To the Honourable " Gold Commissioner and Stipendiary Magistrate,
the Provincial Secretary, Victoria,"
" Laketon, Cassiar, September, 24th, 1877.
" Sir,—I have the honour to report, for the information of the Government, that I
visited McDame Creek on the 12th instant. That creek upon my arrival presented quite
a different aspect from what it did upon the occasion of my last visit. Instead of finding
the prospects bright, and the miners in that portion of my district prosperous, I regret
to be obliged to state that, with the exception of the 3rd North Fork, everything
seemed to indicate a. state of things quite the reverse. Many of the claims which had
been paying and prospecting well in the earlier portion of the season had apparently
failed, and, owing to the distracting effects of the discoveries already reported upon in
the immediate vicinity, portions of that creek which, by steady work would have
proved remunerative, were neglected, and in many instances totally abandoned.
" The 3rd North Fork is turning out well; as the tunnels are driven in prospects are
found as good as those already obtained, and it is estimated that it will prove comparatively rich all through, and thus afford employment during the coming winter to many.
" Before my return (19th instant), I am happy in being able to report upon the
return of a Mr. Walker and others from what has proved a successful prospecting tour.
The discovery of Walker Creek, as the new creek has been named, will be of vast service
to the district by opening up a section of country hitherto practically unknown, and
which from present reliable reports promises to afford diggings of a regular and lasting
" The new creek is situated some 70 or 80 miles due east from Sylvester's Landing,
at the mouth of McDame Creek, on Dease River. The discoveries of last spring were to
the north-west.
" The prospect obtained has been a very fair one; for an aggregate of 48 days' work
some 60 ounces of gold dust were taken out, realizing from $18 to $21 a day to the hand.
The gold is fine, of a granulated appearance, and heavy quality—the largest piece
obtained weighing not more than fifty cents. I have seen some 40 ounces of it, and am
of the opinion that it is a class of gold which promises a continuous and uniform deposit
in the creek from which it was taken. Mr. Walker and party found that the creek
prospected for about two and a half miles about the same  as the ground they had 402 Report of the Minister of Mines. 1877
worked. They also report a cafion of about one and a half miles in length, composed
entirely of decayed quartz, and full of iron pyrites. The creek is about six miles long,
and the average width is 200 feet, depth to bed rock (slate) 7 to 12 feet, no benches,—
with sloping banks similar to Williams Creek, Cariboo. The country intervening between
Sylvester's Landing and new creek is of a nature not difficult to travel over. Several
of the miners, together with Mr. Sylvester, who has a pack train ready for the new gold
fields, intended, when I left (19th instant), cutting out a trail this autumn and endeavouring to get in a load of freight before the winter sets in.
"The country surrounding the new creek is reported to be quite different in its
appearance from that in vicinity of McDame, Thibert, or Dease Creeks, being more open,
possessing a more luxuriant vegetation, and abounding in good grasses, game, and fish,
Nearly all the men have gone eastwards from McDame Creek, and several from Thibert
and Dease have also—although in danger of being frozen in—started for the new
" I should have visited that portion of my district had the season not been so far
advanced, and had there not been so many calls upon my presence elsewhere. However,
as winter is setting in, all that was necessary for the requirements of the public has been
met by having an officer there until ■ the commencement of the close season, who can
make records and attend generally to their wants. Immediately upon the intelligence
of the strike reaching me, and as soon as he was relieved from other duties, I sent Mr.
Wiggins, who has been engaged upon McDame Creek as acting constable for some
time past, and who has proved a very efficient officer, to look after the new creek and
report, etc.
" Trusting that my action in this matter may be approved,
"I have, etc.,
(Signed f: A, W. Vowell,
" To the Honourable «Gold Commissioner,
the Provincial Secretary, Victoria,"
('Price List of Provisions for October, 1877.
Pease Ceebk, McDame Creek.
Flour, per 100 ft. sack , , $20 00  $30 00
Bacon, per ft,,,,, ,      0 45   0 50
Ham,        „ „      0 50..,...,  0 55
Beans,     „    ,      0 25   0 35
Sugar,      ,,          0 45   0 55
Tea,          ,      1 25   1 25
Coffee,     „    roast      100   125
Do,       ,,   green     0 65  ,	
Rice,        „          0 25   0 35
Oatmeal,,,          0 30  0 40
Dried fruit, apples, per ft      0 50 , 0 65
Canned fruit, per can     1 00   1 25
Onions, green, per ft      0 45  ,.,.,  0 50
Do.    dried,      , ;      1 00   1 20
Potatoes, fresh,    ,,        0 22   0 30
Do.       per can      100   125
Do.           ,,       sweet      1 00   1 25
Peaches, dried, per ft      0 50   0 60
Brandy, per gallon     8 00   10 00
Whiskey,"    ,,                1 50   10 00
Boots, leather, per pair      1 00 ©12 00   10 00 @ 12 00
*   Do.  gum,            ,,          10 00   11 00
Nails, per ft      0 40  ,  0 45
Shovels, each      3 50  4 00
Picks,        „           7 00   9 00
Axes,         „         4 50  4 00 @ 5 00
Steel, perft     0 55   0 75
Iron,        ,,         0 50   0 55
Tobacco, per ft      2 00   2 25
Soap, English, per bar      2 00   2 00
Cheese, per ft      0 75   0 80
Butter,      ,,          1 25   1 25
fBeef,         „    ,     0 30   0 35 @ 0 40
* None in market. t Very little in market* 41 Vic. Report op the Minister of Mines. 403
It is greatly to be regretted that the reports received from the Gold Commissioner of this district are of so unfavourable a nature. The efforts made by the
miners to discover new diggings have, unfortunately, not hitherto been crowned
with success. It is to be hoped, however, that the labours of the coming season
will receive a better reward.
" Kootenay, 29th September, 1877.
" Sir,—I have the honour to enclose herewith tabulated statement for Minister of
" The material for any further report for the information of the Lieutenant-Governor
is very scarce indeed.
" The company of three men that were prospecting on Perry Creek failed to test
the deep ground in consequence of a serious break down in their machinery, The value
of the deep ground on Perry Creek is to-day as great a mystery as ever, and must remain
so for this season at least.
" A company of three men will prospect on Quartz Creek this season. Nothing
heard from them yet.
" Another company of three men are prospecting on some tributaries of Kicking-
horse Biver. One of the party has been there before, and found good prospects. They
were all very sanguine Avhen leaving here, and the majority of our miners think they
will strike diggings.
" The Government road party that are operating on the trail through the Bocky
Mountains to Fort McLeod, east of us, will also pass through a country where gold has
been found, but I fear the lateness of the season, after completing the public works, will
not leave any time for them to examine the country for gold on their own account.
" I will take the earliest opportunity of reporting from all those outlying parties
after their arrival here.
" I have, etc.,
(Signed) "Cornelius Booth.
" Gold Commissioner.
" To the Honourable
the Provincial Secretary, Victoria,"
" Kootenay, 22nd November, 1877.
" Sir,—I have at present very little information for the Lieutenant-Governor,
wherewith to supplement the mining report which I have had the honour to forward,
" Every effort made to develop new gold diggings in this district, during the past
mining season, has proved an utter failure.
" In the majority of cases lack of judgment and want of means has been the cause.
" There are at present in Kootenay miles of streams on which gold has been found,
but in no case during the last five years has any attempt to prospect any of them been
carried out far enough to demonstrate satisfactorily whether gold in paying quantities
was deposited in or near any of them.
" The population is sparse, their means are small, supplies are expensive, and credit
limited, hence Kootenay is doubtless doomed to drag out a precarious existence until
some lucky accident develops a portion of her hidden wealth.
" I have, etc.,
(Signed) " Cornelius Booth,
" Gold Commissioner,
" To the Honourable
the Minister of Mines, Victoria." Okanagan.
The estimated yield from this section of the Province is the same as last year.
Prospecting on Cherry Creek does not appear to have been attended with much
success, but Mr. Duteau, late in the season, obtained a satisfactory prospect in the
hill, and the discovery may lead to important results. Prospects have also been
obtained on a small tributary of this creek, but no sufficient test has yet been
made to justify any opinion concerning it.
The finding of gold on the head waters of the Kettle River is probably the
most important discovery yet made in this district. It must be remembered, however, that but little prospecting has yet been done. Mr. Dawson, of the Dominion
Geological Survey—whose opinion is valuable—examined the Cherry Creek section
last summer, and considered it to be rich both in gold and silver.
It is scarcely necessary to dilate on the very great advantages which would
accrue to the Province from tho discovery of even a fairly paying mining camp in
this, one of the most important farming and stock-raising districts of British Columbia—the miners would have cheap food, and the farmers a ready market.
Attention is directed to the Assistant Gold Commissioner's most interesting
" Okanagan,
" December, 1st, 1877.
" To the Honourable A. C. Elliott,
" Minister of Mines.
" Sir,—I have the honour to report, with regard to the mines in my district, as
follows:—Prospecting has been carried on through the summer along the main Cherry
Creek and its branches for a distance of several miles, and although some very coarse
specimens of gold have been found at intervals, no bona fide lead of pay dirt has been
discovered above the Christian and Schneider Claims.
" This company, whose claims are located on the hills some 50 feet above the creek,
have done well this fall, and during the latter end of November were averaging an
ounce a day to the hand. Pieces of gold weighing respectively 8J ounces, 6 ounces,
and 2} ounces were taken out of this claim last month, and afterwards exhibited in
Victoria, and this company are feeling sanguine of being able to make good wages for
some time to come. Too much cannot be said of the enterprising way in which this
company have been working and prospecting, and also in lending their assistance to all
who visited the creek.
"Mr. N. Duteau has been prospecting for the past two months by tunnelling into
the hill above the Christian and Schneider claims, and, I am glad to be able to report,
that at the time of my laying over the claims, November 15th, had struck a prospect
sufficient to convince him of the existence of pay-dirt, and he is under the impression
that he is on a continuation of the lead owned by the adjoining company.
" Very fair prospects have also been found on a small creek known as Fall Creek,
emptying into Cherry Creek, and it is the opinion of several old miners who visited the
diggings last summer, but who, from want of means, were unable to prospect thoroughly, that eventually some rich strikes will be made on this tributary.
" Messrs. Busy and Thorpe (whom I mentioned in my last report as having made
some ten ounces a day to the hand in the early part of the season, on a small bar of
Cherry Creek, and which they worked out) started over the mountains during the month
of August to prospect the head waters of Kettle Eiver. They report having discovered
one of the main branches of this river, at a distance of about fifteen miles from Cherry
Creek; and, although exposed to severe storms of snow and rain, deterring them from
properly examining the locality, panned out sufficient gold (of a coarse quality) to lead
them to suppose that gold existed in paying quantities; so much so, that it was the
intention of these men, on their return to Cherry Creek, to form a prospecting party
and revisit the ground. In consequence of the bad weather which continued till late
in the season, it was considered unadvisable to dispatch a party this year. It is, however, purposed by the settlers and miners in the Okanagan District, to subscribe and fit
out a party the ensuing season, to thoroughly test the Kettle Eiver country. 41 Vic. Report op the Minister of Mines. 405
" The old quartz excitement on Cherry Creek has again been revived by the discovery of a quartz ledge on the opposite side of the creek to that where the old Cherry
Creek Silver Mining Company formerly worked. It will be remembered this company
expended some $15,000 or $20,000 in seeking and endeavouring to trace a vein of ore
which they had discovered on the surface, but unfortunately, after prospecting for
nearly two years at great expense (provisions, &c, then being very high), had to abandon the work without attaining any permanent result, having entirely lost the vein of
ore, some of which assayed as much as $2,000 to the ton. Claims have now been
located by Campbell, Bissett and others, and these men are confident of having struck
a continuation of the same ledge as that on which the original company worked.
"Mr. Dawson, of the Geological Survey, visited this creek last summer, and, in ray
presence, carefully examined several ledges of quartz, he also inspected the different
alluvial claims then being worked, and gave it as his opinion that this section of the
country was highly rich both in gold and silver.
" It is sincerely to be hoped that the Government will see the necessity of sending
Mr. Harper, the Mining Engineer, next season to examine and report upon the quartz
ledges on this creek.
" The new trail to these mines was completed, under my superintendence, about
the end of August, and has proved a great assistance to the miners and others in
enabling supplies to be packed into the mines at a lower rate of freight. This trail,
having been made on an easy grade, could be converted into a waggon road should
future discoveries justify its construction.
" On Mission Creek, at the southern end of my district, and at a distance of eighty
miles from Cherry Creek, mining has also been successfully carried on this past season,
and the McDougall claim have averaged about $4 a day to the hand, even working in
the most primitive manner, by packing the pay-dirt (cement) from their claim to the
creek and washing out the gold with rockers.
" A company have, however, started to convey water from the creek on to the
benches. This has been a long and expensive undertaking, and the promoter, Mr.
Squires, deserves great credit for the worts:, which when completed will, it is supposed,
bring a quantity of alluvial ground under water power.
" In compliance with the wishes of the miners in the district I have laid over the
claims from November 15th, 1877, to April 15th, 1878.
"I have, etc.,
(Signed) " Chas. A. Vernon,
" Assistant Gold Commissioner."
A few Chinamen continue to work on Tranquille River, but the Government
Agent is unable to report any new discoveries of paying ground.
" Kamloops, October 2nd, 1877.
"Sib.,—1 have the honour to forward mining statistics for the year 1877, Kamloops
Division, District of Tale.;
" There has been little or no prospecting done in this portion of the district during
the past year, and, consequently, there are no new discoveries to report. Some ten or
twelve Chinamen are still working on Tranquille Biver, making small wages.
" I have, etc.,
(Signed) "John Ussher.
" Thomas Elwyn, Esq.,
"Deputy Provincial Secretary, Victoria."
& -' w-casrar-wwsi 406 Report of the Minister of Mines. 1877
Fraser River.
Yale and Hope.
The bars and benches on this section of the Fraser appear to be inexhaustible:
in fact, Mr. Teague's estimate of the amount of gold taken out in 1877 exceeds that
made by him for the previous year. AVhen it is considered that the ground in
question has been more or less worked for twenty years, the result is truly astonishing.    Mr. Teague's report, which follows, is decidedly encouraging.
" Yale, B. C, 29th September, 1877.
" Sir,—In. compliance with your request of the 25th July last, I beg to submit my
report, with mining tabular form giving statistics of mining for the Hope and Yale
divisions for 1877, by which you will observe there appears to be signs of improving
prospects. The past winter was an unusually mild one, therefore producing most favourable opportunities for the desultory mining operations successfully carried on in these
placers, without any intermission, up to within a recent date, when operations had to
be temporarily suspended for the want of a sufficient supply of water for sluicing. I
have not been able to make a personal visit throughout these divisions, but from the
most reliable sources I gather my information that the results of the placer deposits
will compare most favourably with and exceed the amount of gold obtained in these
divisions of recent years.
" The party of white men prospecting on Siwash Creek, and alluded to in my report
of last year, remained and mined during the winter, or for a period of about eight
months, on a bar situate just below the mouth of Siwash Creek, but with what kind of
success 1 am unable to inform you, as apparently every thing was kept by them with a
singular reticence.
"A company of three Indians, during tho months of February and March last,
were working on the bank of the Fraser near tho 18-mile post, and within the short
space of six weeks succeeded in taking out with a rocker the snug little sum of $1,500,
thus evidently supporting the belief that there are yet numerous placer deposits
remaining undiscovered in the banks of the Fraser, that will eventually prove a source
of wealth to those who have the enterprise to develop them.
"I am pleased to report a company of Chinamen have struck fairly remunerative
diggings on Trafalgar Flat, about three miles above the town of Hope, from which they
informed me they obtained from $3 to $4 per day to the hand. Numerous benches, or
extensive flats, can be seen stretching along the course of the Fraser, bearing the same
characteristic indications of alluvial deposits which can be worked inexpensively, and
very little skill is required in the manner of working them. The claim at the head of
the famous Hill's Bar, worked by a company of six Chinamen, yielded very favourable
returns, and would have no doubt continued to do so throughout the year, had not the
company been compelled to suspend operations temporarily for the want of a sufficient
supply of water for sluicing. The pay they find still continues into the bank, and they
have a large piece brushed off preparatory for the fall season's work.
"Until the late rains the creeks emptying into the Fraser were exceedingly low,
several being almost dry, and the consequence was mining operations on the benches
were suspended ; the long drought and excessive heat rapidly melting the snow from
the mountain tops, thereby causing the low stage of water in tho Fraser to be unprecedented, leaving strong impressions upon the minds of old settlers that the water will be
at a lower mark during the coming winter than any yet seen, affording favourable
advantages for working the bars in the Fraser, whose hidden treasures have laid for
centuries untouched. The extensive flat opposite Yale, and stretching away adjoining
the celebrated Hill's Bar, was applied for by a company of capitalists from San Francisco, who intended to carry on mining operations on a gigantic scale; but their request,
I regret to say, was unfortunately not acceded to, therefore leaving a monotonous
aspect instead of a busy scene of mining enterprise.
" The silver mines in these localities, I deeply regret to inform you, are lying
dormant and intact, for the want of capital or enterprise to work them; therefore I am
unable to submit any further important changes respecting the development of any of 41 Vic.
Report op the Minister of Mines.
these promising resources. All successful mining must be based on the principle that
mineral riches, as a rule, increase as depth is attained. Some of the most successful
mines in Cornwall have returned millions of pounds sterling, although often the riches
were not arrived at before the shafts were sunk some 100 fathoms from the surface. It is
quite true that ores in many cases have given out at comparatively shallow
depths; but over and over again miners have discovered that, after passing through a
barren floor of silicine matter, a fresh deposit, richer than the surface ore, has rewarded
their energy and perseverance. Upon these principles the nerve of the adventurer
should be braced to invest his capital, together with the services of practical and skilful
mining superintendents ; then the metalliferous deposits of these divisions would not
languish for the want of enterprise to develop and realize the riches of our hidden
storerooms of untold wealth.
" I have, etc.,
(Signed) " William Teaque,
" To the Honourable " Government Agent,
the Minister of Mines."
It is most satisfactory to be able to report that, notwithstanding the continued
depression of the coal market in San Francisco, the total yield of coal for the year
1877 exceeded by nearly 15,000 tons the output of 1876.
The depression above referred to has been the cause of the non-continuance of
work at the Harewood Mine ; should, however, the price of coal in San Francisco
again become a paying one, active operations will be recommenced. For precisely
the same reason, the Baynes Sound Co. have temporarily ceased to take out coal.
The company, however, are not idle, and, acting on the advice of a geologist, are
engaged in boring, between the present mine and the sea, with the view of still
further testing the value of their property.
Returns from the different collieries are annexed.
Return of Coal Raised and Sold, 1877.
Actual output
of eoal, 1877.
No. of tons sold
for home consumption.
No. of tons sold
for    exporta-
No.   of tons  on
hand, Jan. 1st
No. of tons unsold, Jan. 1st
Wellington Colliery	
Baynes Sound Goal Co...
Comparative Statement showing Amount of Coal Raised
in 1876 and 1877 bespect1vely.
Total output of coal, 1877 154,052 tons,
Do.        do.        1876 139,191   do.
Increase for 1877 14^861 tons. 408
Report of the Minister of Mines.
Nanaimo Collieries.
Output of Coal for
12 months ending
31st Dec, 1877.
94,809f tons.
No. of tons sold for
home consumption.
No. of tons sold for
No. of tons on hand
January 1st, 1877.
10,509 8 cwt.
No. of tons unsold,
including coal in
stock Jan. 1st, '78.
19,670 3 cwt.
No. of hands employed.
Wages per day.
Men, 301.
Boys, 17.
Chinese,  87.
Indians, 23.
$2 to $4
jl to $1  25.
$1 to $1  50.
Total hands employed, 428.
Miners' earnings per day, $2 75 to $5 00,
Note.—The number of hands employed does not include Indians or Chinamen working for Miners and paid by them.
Name of seams or pits  Douglas, Chase Biver, and Fitzwilliam.
Value of plant  $123,000.
Description of  seams, tunnels, Douglas Mine, JNTanaimo, worked by slope; there are six
levels, shafts, &c.
of same.
Description and length of tram
way, plant, &c.
and number levels, three of which are in operation, the coal m
the lowest is about 51 to 6 feet thick. The product
of this mine is first-class for gas making purposes.
The old Douglas pit is now used as an up-cast shaft.
New Douglas Mine, is situated near Chase Eiver, about
If miles from, the old Douglas Bit. The mine is
being opened up by slope with three North and
South levels. The thickness of the seam extends
from 4J to 9 feet of very clean coal, which is known
as New Douglas, or Chase River coal, and is held in
the highest estimation in the foreign and domestic
markets for steam and household purposes. The
capacity is now upwards of 280 tons, which will be
doubled on completion of the powerful hoisting and
pumping engine in course of erection.
Fitzwilliam Mine, on Newcastle Island, is worked by
slope of 800 yards. The coal produced is of a first-
class quality for steam and household use.
Newcastle Aline, not in operation; 240 yards by slope,
on Newcastle Island.
Chase Biver Mine, 290 feet deep by .shaft; not in
The railway is a little more than 2 miles in length,
constructed of heavy double-headed steel rails, 52fbs
to the yard, laid on chairs, bolted to wooden ties.
The railway extends from the New Douglas Mine to
the Company's loading pier, with branches and sidings to the Douglas Fit, &c.
The Company have fifty 5>] ton coal cars and fifty of
3if tons, and three powerful locomotives. There are
facilities at the Company's wharves for delivering
1,500 tons of coal per day.
. (Signed)       M. Bate, 41 Vic.
Report of the Minister op Mines.
Wellington Collieries.
Output of Coal for
12 months ending
31st Dec, 1877.
No. of tons sold for
home consumption.
No. of tons sold for
48,743! tons.* 6,34.2$ tons. 37,486-/)-tons. 1,273 tons, 1 cwt.      6,794 tons, 13 cwt.
No. of tons on hand,
1st January, 1877.
No. of tons unsold,
including coal in
stock, Jan. 1,1878
I No. of hands employed.
Wages per day.
Men, 162              Chinese, 80
Boys, none.
Indians, 10
§2 to $3 75
$1 to $1 25
$1 to $1 25
Total hands employed, 352.
Miners' earnings per day, $3 to I
* Strike by miners four months.
Name of seams or pits....    Wellington Mine, No. 1 slope.
Value of plant  $140,000.
Description of   seams,  tunnels, 8 to 10 feet thick; shaft one, 183 feet, not working; two
levels, shafts, &c, and number      3 feet seams,
of same.
Description and length of tram- 3f miles railway, 3 locomotives, over 100 waggons, 3
way, plant, &e. engines, and 2 steam pumps, &c, &c.
(Signed)       B. Dunsmuir,
  Managing Partner.
Harewood Colliery.
Output  of  Coal   for
12 months ending
31st Dee., 1877.
No. of tons sold for
home consumption.
No. of tons sold for
, of tons on hand
1st January, 1877.
No. of tons on hand
1st January, 1878.
9,000 tons.
500 tons.
8,700 tons.
600 tons.
400 tons.
No. of hands employed.
Wages per day.
Men, 40
Boys, 3
Chinese, 40
ns, none.
$2 to
i$l 12$
Total hands employed, 83
Miners' earnings per day, $2 to !
Name of seam or pits Harewood.
Description   of   seams,   tunnels,
levels, shafts, &c 1 workable seam,from 3 feet to 9 feet; 1 tunnel (water
level); air level, 6 feet by 6 feet; drawing level, 6
feet by 18 feet.
No. of same 1 tunnel, 2 levels (1 air and 1 drawing).
Description and length of tramway, bunkers, &c 2 miles and eight-tenths in length (aerial tramway);
capacity of bunkers about 800 tons, 410
Report of the Minister of Mines.
Baynes Sounh Colliery.
Output of Coal for
12 months ending
31st Deo., 1877.
About 1,500 tons.
No. of tons sold for
home consumption.
About 600 tons.
No. of tons sold for
415 tons.
No. of tons on han.d|M"o. of tons unsold,
1st January, 1877.     including  coal  in
stock, Jan. 1, 1878
About 500 tons.
About 700 tons.
Name of seams or pits No. 2, or old seam'; No. 4, or new seam.
Value of plant About $67,000.
Description   of  seams,  tunnels,
levels, shafts, &c, and number
of same  One 7-foot seam (No. 2); one 4 ft. 6 in. (No. 4); about
six tunnels.
Description and length of tramway, plant, &c 3J miles; 1 Baldwin 8-ton locomotive; about 25 cars.
" Office of Inspector of Mines,
"Victoria, November 1st, 1877.
"Sir,—I have the honour to report that, in pursuance of instructions received, I
proceeded on the 9th ultimo to Nanaimo and Baynes Sound, for the purpose of making
an inspection of the several collieries situated in those districts.
" Baynes Sound Collier j.
" This company is at present only working one drift, which is driven •' level free'
into tho No. 4 seam for about 400 feet on tho north side o the river. Two other drifts
have been run in, but are now closed. The workings are of but small extent as yet,
on account of the faulty nature of the ground. The roof is composed of hard sandstone
and requires very little supporting by timber. The air passing around the mine was
amply sufficient for the number of men employed, viz.:  seven.     I have written to the
company s manager.
.Besmlation Act.'
drawing his attention to some of the clauses in the 'Coal Mines
" Wellington Colliery.
" This colliery is worked by means of a slope off which levels are driven on each
side. The slope is divided by a strong row of timbers running down the centre, one
side being for the hauling rope, tho other a travelling way for the men. The ventilating
furnace is built on a very good principle, and is capable of producing a largo amount of
air. Telegraph wires run from the lower workings up the main slope into the engine
house, from any point of which a signal can be given t-o stop the engine or otherwiso by
merely pressing the two wires together.
"The method of ventilating the workings, at present in use, is the 'separate split
system.' This object is accomplished by splitting the air so that instead of allowing the
whole of the air to traverse the entire workings, a separate portion is conducted into
each district, which sweeps the faces and is then taken straight back into the main
return airway (by means of overcasts) and up to the furnace. By this means, each
small group of men get nearly pure air instead of its being sub-charged with carbonic
acid gas and other deleterious matter. As the mines were not working the day I made
the inspection, I did not measure the quantity of air passing into the workings, as the
amount would have been entirely different when all the men were in and blasting had
been going on, but I considered that there was quite sufficient when conducted well up
to the faces. About 120 men are employed below ground, and are divided into two
gangs—one gang working on each shift.
" The whole colliery was in good condition both above and below ground, with but
few exceptions, of which I have notified the manager. I only found carburetted
hydrogen gas (fire damp) in one place; and that was only a small quantity.    There are 41 Vic. Report of the Minister of Mines. 411
three (3) means of escape for men out of the pit, viz.: the main slope, the adit level, and
the upcast shaft, in which is placed an iron ladder. The shaft near Departure Bay,
which was sunk to an upper seam, is not being worked at present, but is securely planked
" Harewood Colliery.
" This colliery consists of a drift run ' level free ' into the bluff, and stalls worked
up to the rise of same. I found by measurement that 5,160 cubic feet of air were passing
round the workings per minute, which amount divided amongst 16 men (the number at
present working on a shift) gave 322 cubic feet per minute per man. The roof is very
treacherous in several parts of the mine, being composed of shale, full of 'slips' and
' pot-holes,' and requires great watchfulness on the part of the miner employed, but
plenty of timber seemed to be both supplied and advantageously used. The only gas
ever met with here is carbonic acid gas (black damp), and that, I was informed, is very
rarely seen. In accordance with the ' Coal Mines Begulation Act, 1877/ some alterations
will have to be made, about which I have written to the proprietor.
" Cornish Shaft.
" This is a new shaft which has been sunk by Messrs. Francis and Nicholas on their
farm, situate between Wellington and Nanaimo. The shaft is down to what is commonly
known as the ' Dunsmuir Seam,' which at that point is 147 feet below the surface. The
coal sunk through was 12 feet thick, The shaft is being enlarged and secured, but no
work has been done in the coal as yet,
" Douglas Pit— Douglas Sean.
" This pit is the oldest at present working in the country. Now that it is connected
with the Chase Biver Mine, it forms a continuous network of levels, stalls, &c, for over
two miles in length. The pitch of the seam is very irregular over the whole of this field,
varying from 13° to 76°, which makes the working of it very intricate and difficult to
ventilate at times. The slope by which the coal is brought to surface is about 700 yards
long, at the bottom of which nearly all the work is being done at present. At the time
1 made the inspection there were 61 miners, besides runners, bratticemen, &c, in all
about 75 men, working in the pit, but not all on one shift. I found that in No. 4 level
the were 2,898 cubic feet of air passing per minute, which, divided amongst the 21 men
employed in this level on one shift, gives an average of 138 cubic feet per minute per
man. In Nos. 5 and 6 levels, which are ventilated by a different current from No. 4
level, I found 3,510 cubic feet passing per minute, giving an average of 121 cubic feet
per man. This, 1 consider, is rather too small a quantity of air to keep the faces clear
of smoke, &c, and in fit condition for men to work in; but Mr. Bryden, who is the
manager, informed me that he contemplated making a change in the intake air-courses,
and also in the position of the ventilating furnace, by which he hoped to obtain a much
larger supply of air. On looking over the firemen's report book, I noticed that on
several occasions small quantities of carburetted hydrogen gas had been encountered in
the faces, but no accidents had occurred through it. There are four (4) different means
of escape from this pit, viz.: by the main slope, the shaft, the adit level, and through
into Chase River Mine. The workings are in a good state as regards safe timbering,
man-holes, &c.
"Douglas Shaft—Lower Seam.
" This seam is not being worked at present. The old Douglas Shaft was sunk
down and reached this seam at a depth of 283 feet from surface. Some prospecting
was done, but it has been abandoned for a time on account of the extreme irregularity
of the coal.
" Chase Biver Mine—Douglas Seam.
This is, in my opinion, a model pit in every respect. The workings are laid out
with great regularity and the ventilating furnace is a fine piece of work, capable of
producing 40,000 cubic feet of air per minute at anytime if needed. The air is divided
into five different main splits, and each main split into several smaller ones. The total
number of men employed in this pit is 104, half of whom work on each shift.   No one 412 Report of the Minister of Mines. 1877
split of air is taken past more than 21 men at the faces. The total amount of air passing through the pit, I found by measurement to be 24,408 cubic feet per minute; this
amount of air distributed amongst the 52 men who are, as a rule, in the mine at one
time, gives an average of 469 cubic feet per man per minute.
"Fitzwilliam Mine.
"This pit is situate on Newcastle Island, near Nanaimo. I found on inspection that
in the main return airway 5,670 cubic feet of air were passing per minute, but in the
airway, near the stalls at present working, only 2,970 cubic feet per minute, thus showing the difference to be gained by leakage through ' stoppings,' &c. Forty men are
employed underground, but only 20 are in the mine at one time, thus having an average
of 148 cubic feet of air per minute per man. The furnace and upcast shaft are, I was
informed, going to be repaired immediately, when, I have no doubt, there will be a great
improvement in the ventilation.    The workings are in a safe condition.
" Neiocastle Mine.
" This mine is abandoned.
" I have notified Mr. Bryden, who is the Manager of the five last-mentioned mines,
with regard to alterations and additions which I noticed would have to be made in order
to comply with the Act.
" I would beg to state that as I received my appointment so recently, I think it
would be very injudicious on my part to offer any remarks as to the probable working
of the Act, which has not as yet got fairly into operation.
"I have, etc.,
" The Hon. A. C. Elliott, (Signed) " Edward Gawler Brior,
Minister of Mines." « Inspector of Mines.
" Inspector of Mines' Office,
" Victoria, January 10th 1878.
" Sir,—I have the honour to report that on the 11th December last, I proceeded to
Nanaimo, in order to ascertain whether the alterations, &c, suggested by myself after
my last inspection of the Collieries situated there had been attended to. One of the
chief objects I had in view, was to measure the air in the Wellington Colliery when all
the men were working underground, as at my inspection the pit was laid idle. Although
the latest information I could gain before leaving Victoria was, that the mine was
working steadily every day, yet, when I arrived there, I found that work had been
suspended again, as there were no ships taking coal at the wharves.
" 1 found that at none of the pits proper attention had been paid to clause 46,
article 9, paragraph D, 'Coal Mines Regulation Act, 1876;' although in my notices to
the Managers of the said Collieries, I had particularly requested them to see that by
the 30th November, 1877, the tools described in the said clause should bo in general use.
" Only a few men were in possession of the proper tools, whereas all miners are,
by the Act, required to use them.
"The alterations affecting ventilation had been promptly attended to, and I am
glad to say very beneficial results have been attained.
" The additional instruments, &c, required by the Act had been ordered, and will,
I expect, be in use in a short time.
" No ' special rules' have, as yet, been submitted to me, but I am informed that they
are in course of compilation.
" I am sorry to have to report a fatal accident which took place in the Chase River
Mine on the 10th December, 1877, by which one John Wood, a miner, met his death.
From the evidence given at the Coroner's Inquest, which took place on 11th December,
it appears that Wood and his partner had fired a ' face shot' which had only loosened the
coal and not thrown it down; they had then commenced holing under it, and although
Wood was warned by his partner to be careful, as it seemed unsafe, he persisted in
working too long, for the whole piece came away suddenly, and a small piece from the
top striking him on the neck he was killed instantaneously. Deceased was a very
steady and careful workman, and an excellent miner, but in this instance he did wrong
in holing a shot that had been fired. He ought either to have put another small shot
in, or have ' spragged ' or ' braced ' the coal before mining it. 41 Vic. Report of the Minister of Mines. 413
"I went down the mine and examined the place where the accident occurred,
nothing having been moved. I found that the cause of the coal falling away so
suddenly, was a crack formed by an old 'rib shot.' There was also a natural slip in
the coal, which the deceased could not possibly have been aware of, and which very
materially weakened the coal.
" No blame can be attached to anyone connected with the mine, as the accident
was purely the result of the deceased putting too much confidence in his knowledge of
the coal.
" The fact that the coal in these collieries does not fall easily after being holed,
accounts for the accidents and many narrow escapes that occur, as the miners are
accustomed to trust so much to it that they get, in many instances, very careless of
themselves, and run fearful risks.
"Several men have been more or less injured in different ways since I received my
appointment, but as none of the injuries have proved fatal I need not describe them,
" I have, &c,
(Signed^)       "Edwd. Gawler Brior,
" Inspector of Mines,
« The Hon, A, C, Elliott, Minister of Mines,"
The accompanying report to the Minister of Mines, received from Mr. Harper,
the Government Mining Engineer, after a personal inspection of the "Howe Sound
Copper and Silver Mine," is wonderfully, encouraging. Mr. Harper not only pronounces the lode to be a true fissure vein, but states that it is the richest ore of its
character which he has ever seen on this coast or in England. Mr. Harper's belief
that the country between Howe Sound and Jervis Inlet will in time become a great
mining district, is well worthy of attentive consideration.
" Victoria, B. O, June 26th, 1877.
" Sir,—I have the honour to inform you that, in pursuance of instructions received
by me, I proceeded to visit and inspect the Howe Sound Copper and Silver Mine, and
beg to report as follows:—
"In consequence of a considerable depth of snow on the summit of the mountain
where the mine is situated, I was not able to follow the lode continuously for any great
distance, but on the south-east side there was about three hundred feet of the lode
cxjuosed. I examined it and found it about two and one-half feet wide, running nearly east
and west. The lode, which I pronounce to be a true fissure vein, has a perpendicular foot
wall.    There are stringers further south which, at a lower level, will run into the lode.
"The ore is of a rich character, made up of what are known as Beacock and Grey
ore and oxide of copper. It carries also a large percentage of silver. It is the richest
ore of this character 1 have ever seen on this Coast or in England.
" The formation is granite. In Cornwall, England, the richest copper mines are in
granite. In Nevada the richest silver mines, with the exception of the Comstock, are
in granite. I firmly believe that the lode will, at a greater depth from the surface, prove
to be richer in silver than in copper. I can, with confidence, recommend it to mining
" I beg to inform you that there is no road to the mine, which is, in consequence, at
present difficult of access. I would recommend that a competent person be sent to examine
the country between the mine and the salt water, with a view to laying out a road in the
most eligible location. Not only may the mine I have made particular reference to be
thus opened, but the ground on the east and west may bo worked also.
" I believe, in time, the country between Howe Sound and Jervis Inlet will be a
great Mining District,
" I have, etc.,
(Signed) "R. B. Harper,
(.' To the Honourable " Government Mining Engineer,
the Minister of Mines." 


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