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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 22

Gold Mining

Gold Mining

has been successfully followed as an industry in the Southland district for many years. No extensive finds of rich nuggets have been made, but at Orepuki, Longwood, Round Hill, Nokomai. and Waikaia, miners systematically prosecute a search for the precious metal. Each of these localities contains what if known as "wages ground;" men can always earn on an average fifteen shillings and more a day. On the beach between Bluff Harbour and Mataura river one or two parties of six men have been working for the past two years, and there are miles of beach open to working men to follow that class of occupation. The party dig the beach up and wash the material excavated, saving the gold, and when one patch of beach becomes exhausted they remove a little further off; after a strong south-east wind and swell the beach is levelled by the deposits from the sea, and the locality can again be washed up; and the process appears likely to last for many years.

It may be of interest to those who have expended time and money on the quartz reefs at Longwood to know that Professor Hutton thus speaks of the country west of Riverton: —" Gold in small quantities is found throughout this formation, but the Longwood range is the only place in which it occurs to any considerable extent. The gold of the Orepuki district must have come out of those rocks, as it is found up the valley of the Waimeamea, a small river rising in the Longwood ranges."