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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 2

II. Description of Situation, Mode of Occurrence,&c

page 55

II. Description of Situation, Mode of Occurrence,&c

The deposit forming the subject of this report occurs about a mile S.E. of the mouth of the Para-para river, in the province of Nelson. About five miles north of this is the town of Collingwood, close to which is the Collingwood Coal Company Wallsend Mine, which yields some of the best coal in New Zealand. At present this mine is unable to progress as rapidly as it might, owing to the thinness of the seam, and to the fact that bands of shale exist in the coal; but the demand that would spring up in the event of the hematite being worked, presuming that this coal were used for smelting the stone, for which purpose it is admirably suited, would doubtless give such an impetus to the mine as to enable the works to be carried on at a profit.

The hematite is, as shown on the plan, close to the Para-para Inlet, and a short tramway would enable the ore to be shipped on barges and taken to Collingwood, where there is every facility for the construction of a wharf at which vessels of any size could lie.

There is a large deposit of nearly pure crystalline limestone on the banks of the Para-para river, on either side of the letter K on plan.

The numerous streams on the neighbouring hills would give ample water-power, should such be needed.

It is unnecessary to describe the character of the ore itself, as Mr. Prince's description applies equally well to this stone. The main mass extends, as shown on the accompanying plan, in a longitudinal direction, bearing about N.W. and S.E., except at the end near the shore, where it turns round to the N.; there are also several outlying portions, marked B to L.

The parts in which the ore was found to be pyritous are all near the Para-para river. In some cases, notably in the outlying patch B, the ore seems to form part only of the hill; so in this and similar cases I have assumed its existence under that ground which page 56 is covered with it. To determine its position accurately or to form any idea as to what its depth really is, would require boring or sinking.

The ground is much broken up by gullies, &c., and for this an allowance is made in the estimate.

In a gully, which has been excavated partly by gold-diggers and partly by the action of water, to a depth of 30 to 40 feet, I found what appeared to be the junction between the slates and the hematite; the line is much faulted and disturbed, and in places the ore appears to run up through the rock in veins; at the junction the hematite is of a very inferior and argillaceous character.

In Onakaka Creek, at M on the plan, the ore occurs in immense masses, of excellent quality, both in the bed of the stream and on the sides of the hills. This point is more than a mile distant from the south corner of the Para-para Company's lease, as shewn on plan.

In the bed of the Para-para river, at K on the plan, the hematite occurs on the east side of the stream, and has very much the appearance of a reef, but I failed to trace it on the other bank: here it is very pyritous. On the inland track, at L on the plan, there is a small leader of ironstone, having a bearing of N. 58 E., a hade of 30° to the N., and a width of about 3 feet: this portion was so much mixed with iron pyrites as to appear to be almost entirely composed of it.