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



In the younger palæozoic rocks in connection with shaly beds and conglomerates, as for instance in the Malvern Hills, the Clent Hills, and a few other localities, there occur some indurated clays (shales) which in times to come will doubtless be extensively used by the potter. Both the Waipara and Oamaru formations are rich in clays of various character, and useful for many purposes.

There are some very fine fire-clays in connection with the coal seams in the former, for ornamental work (Terracotta) and for more general purposes such as drainage pipes, earthenware, fire bricks, and many other objects, which formerly had all to be imported from the home country. The Malvern Hills are particularly rich in fine pottery material, and a siliceous conglomerate (ganister) its component parts mostly derived from the disintegration of the quartziferous porphyries is also abundant there. I may add that some of the fire-clays from Almerode, near the Meissner, are of such excellent quality that they are exported in considerable quantities to the United States of North America (see Zinken, Braunkhole, Vol. 1, page 550). Considering the expense incurred for railway and sea carriage from the centre of Germany to the United States, it appears to me, that under favourable circumstances, some of our fire-clays could also be exported with advantage.

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There are some white plastic clays in the Oamaru formation, as for instance in the valley of the Kakahu river, and in the Waihao basin, which some day will also be extensively used for manufacturing purposes.