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Geology of the Provinces of Canterbury and Westland, New Zealand : a report comprising the results of official explorations

Economic Geology

page 450

Economic Geology.

In several chapters of this publication mention has already been made of various rocks, minerals, and ores of economic value found in the two provinces under review, such as gold, coal, limestone, and several others. It will, however, be useful to offer, in a more connected form, an account of all the mineral substances, known to us at present, which are either already being extracted from the earth, or may be used in the future for manufacturing or agricultural purposes. An examination of the Geological Map of both Provinces will disclose the fact, that whilst the country on the north-western side of the Alps is rich in gold and coal, the eastern side has not been so favoured. At the same time it may be safely expected that payable mines of other ores will be opened all along that western slope. On the eastern side, by far the greatest portion, consisting of rocks of young palæozoic origin, with a few unimportant exceptions, is devoid of any of the more valuable materials for the use of man. This is the more striking and disappointing, as rocks with the same fossils contain the rich and extensive Coalfields of New South Wales. However, in the younger rocks, fringing this older sedimentary series or forming small outliers in it, some valuable brown coal-beds have been preserved to us, thus making up in some respects for the want of the older coal measures.