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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 2

Mr. Webster to Dr. Hector

Mr. Webster to Dr. Hector.

Collingwood Coal Mining Company, Registered, Nelson,


I have to acknowledge the receipt of your memorandum sent by Mr. Curtis, and now beg to advise you that I visited the mine on the 15th instant, and found that, although the contractors had not actually knocked off, their progress was very slow indeed; but with the promise of 3s. more per foot, they had commenced with renewed vigour; and having in a great measure lost the water overhead, I consider the prospect of their carrying the contract through is much improved.

The present contractors have driven 137 feet up to the 20th instant; and adding 117 feet driven before, makes a total of 254 feet. So far, the driving has been quite satisfactory to the Mining Manager, all the strata passed through being very regular, with an inclination to flatten. The first seam of coal was cut as near as possible at the distance indicated in your section, and shows much improvement from the outcrop; out of the formation of 3 feet, 2 feet of first-class coal could be mined. Above and below this seam there are two bands of ironstone, varying from 6 inches to 12 inches thick, a sample of which I left at your office on the 15th of April, and which has been reported on very favourably by Mr. Skey; the yield being 42 per cent, of iron.

From a personal inspection of the mode in which the "waterfall" has been utilized for the purpose of ventilating the drive, I have no hesitation in pronouncing it a great success,—supplying abundance of air to the fan, and since the water was turned on, some two months ago, has acted splendidly night and day without cessation.

Since my return from the mine, the Mining Manager has advised me "that the contractors have struck another burst of water," but they may lose it again at any time.

I have, &c.,

M. Webster

, Legal Manager. Dr. Hector, Wellington.