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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 47



Omineca, in the far north of the province, has not yet proved to be a high-paying gold-field. The gold is plentiful and distributed; in 1872 probably each miner made about 8 dollars (32s. English) per day during the season. The country is vast, and not much prospected. Omineca will probably be a moderate-sized camp for a time, and ultimately will support a large number of miners. Omineca is kept back at present by the high cost of labour and supplies, like many other gold-yielding places in British Columbia.

The above are gold-fields which were expected to be, or are, high-paying diggings. The immigrant will understand, however, that gold is found almost everywhere, and that numbers of Chinese and Indians are mining in all parts of the province, and are making from 1 to 5 dollars (4s. to 20s. English) per day.

At this stage of the world's history homilies are not wanted upon the risks of gold-mining in this quarter of the globe, or, indeed, elsewhere. In British Columbia the work is hard, the season is short in the northern parts of the province, the returns from the occupation are uncertain. But it must have many compensating advantages, or it would not be so attractive. One thing may be said, namely, that a gold-miner has a steady market for his produce; he has never to wait for a market for his gold, nor is it much affected by competition or over-production.

The point for the settler to note is that it is an immense advantage to a settler to be in a mineral country, because the mines give work to those able to undertake it, and create local markets, which otherwise might not exist for generations.

I do not think that any man living will see the exhaustion of the precious mineral deposits of British Columbia. The history of the older mining country of California shows partly what may be expected in British Columbia.