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e SPITSBERGEN, NEW FIELD OF BRITISH ENTERPRISE. The Ordinary General Meeting of the Northern Exploration Company, Limited, was held yesterday, at the Abercorn JJooms, Great Eastern Hotel, Liverpool- gtreet, E.C., Mr. Frederick Lewis Da vies, chairman of the company, presiding. The secretary (Mr. D. Martin-Watt, F.I.S.A.) having read the notice convening the meeting, The Chairman said :-The Northern Ex- ploration Company, Limited, was re- gistered in November, 1910, to take over certain properties in Spitsbergen (ac- quired by the Expeditions sent out by the vendors in 190-4-5-6-7-8 and 9. A cer- tain amount of work was carried out at King's Bay, Bell Sound, Lovre Sound and Jleeherche* Bay. The enormous and beautiful marble deposit at King's Bay Was located, and a variety of samples shipped to London for expert criticism. Coal was also discovered and opened out en our properties, and later large iron de- posits were discovered in 1013 and 1914 of Jiematite iron ore and magnetite iron ore in Recherche Bay. Other valuable mineral deposits were found (17 rare metals in all) including lead, zinc, graphite, molybdenite, asbestos and indi- I cations of gold. There were also strong Indications of the existence of petroleum. In consequence of the Treasury turning down our Expedition already referred to, we were prevented from doing anything beyond just keeping the Company alive until 1917, when I brought the matter to the notice of Mr. F. W. Salisbury-Jones, your present Managing Director. I ex- plained very fully to him all our past difficulties (which were enough to dis- courage any man, even in Peace time), and aiter several talks with the Coal and Iron iniD Engineers, A. and B. Mang- ham ( he former had wintered five win- ters and the latter ten winters in Spitsbergen, and also Mr. Mansfield, ,the original English prospector, and Satisfying himself by very searching en- quiries into the existence and richness of our deposits, he threw himself with characteristic energy into the ccheme, and advanced considerable sums of money to enable the Company to be kept alive and to deal with our more pressing claims. In 1918, he and his group en- tered into a contract to provide a large amount of capital, which enabled us to ,NORTElERN EXPLQRATIOH COMPANY'S AREAS IN DEEP BLACK I j SHOWING DISTANCES FROM DIFFERENT PARTS OF BRITAIN* send out a well-equipped Expedition in that year. MINERAL DEPOSITS. We are officially informed by one of the largest shipping concerns that the Swedish Company was financed by German Banks for the purpose of making a railway to i Norway from Gellivare. u,OOO,OOO tons of Iron Ore were sold to German blast fur- naces at 13s. 3d. and lfcs. 9d. per ton c.i.f. .Rotterdam for delivery over ten years, j and as far as I k?w the&a contracts were just completed before the war. The same ore was sold at Middlesboiough before the war at between 25s. and 30?. per ton c.i.f. ,The Hamburg-Amerika Line and another German firm entered into a contract to carry this ore to Rotterdam at about 7s. I per ton, and this contract was re-let at various times at from 5s. 3d. to 6s. per ton, hence the Hamburg-Amerika Line would make at least Is. per ton profit, or j -ei.000,000. I The result of the very high wages they have been receiving is that there is a very serious decrease in the output of this cotfntry. The decreaw in the qutput of the country last year as compared with the year before the war was about 75.000.000 tons. The tmount of coal exported before the war was just about 75,000,000 tons; so you see, ladies and gentlemen. if our home consumption is only just the same as it was before the war, and I see no reason why it should be any less. we ahall be in the position in I this country, of having no coal whatever 1 to export. 11 COAL. J We have now the most abundant eN- I dence of the existence of this mineral in  euch quantity and of such quality that if we had to rely on this product alone } it great success is absolutely assured. f â Our last adv?cas "how tha, without -{ modMn machinery either to get or load the coal, we have obtained (with a very limited number ad men) several thousajid tons and stacked it ready for shipment. Given electrical coal cutters, conveyors, wiae ropeways, and piers, our output of I coal need have no practical limit, and when I tell you that the present price of coal ex ship in the northern parts of Nor- 1 way is X6 to C8 per ton, it appears to I me and my co-Directors that there is t room for the energies of a number of ¡ Spitsbergen companies dealing with coal j alone. With coal as dear and as scarce as it ia in England it is somewhat exasperat- ing to learn that in Spitzbergenâonly four or five days' steaming by tramp steamer from British ports-c.oal of ex- i cellent quality, both bituminous and anthracite, exists in abundance, that mnch of it in fact is lying about on the surface, &nA that all of it can be easily worked d as easily shipped. The wortc- irirr of tf? coal seam is so simple indeed w that coal can be shipped even now at about 7s. par ton f.o.b. at Lowe Sound, Spitsbergen, and when electrical cutting machinery is installed the Met of produc- tion, will bo still less. A Swedish company iu which the North- ern Exploration Company has a large in- terest has been successfully working coal seams at Braganza Bay, and a Norwegian company owns and operates coal mines in the Advent Bay district. i IRON. I I Lave already mentioned that we i)ossc-,s iron deposits and Magnetite in Recherche Bay. The former has not yet been fully investigated, but the latter was proved to our satisfaction by the 1918 Expedition. Mr. Selkirk, the well known iron expert, has been appointed to repre- Aiit this company's interests, and will leave shortly for Spitsbergen to take up vigorously the best method of dealing with the Magnetite ore verified by the ]9J8 Expedition. Its quantity can be judged by the analyses made by the dif- ferent experts. These analyses can be seen at the offices of the company, and give from 58 to 68 per cent. of metallic Iron and are very low in phosphorus and sulphur, This Iron Ore deposit discovered on our properties will be an available asset to the British Empire. The ore is described as an extremely rich Magnetite Ore, free from any deleterious impurity, and on account of the low amounts of sulphur and phosphorus it could be used for the production of the highest grade steel." As to the extent of these deposits the ore is not in isolated patches or seams, but in veritable mountainous formations. In Re- cherche Bay the deposit? extend for up- wards of seventeen miles. To the east of Recherche Bay there is a range of moun- tains composed of Iron Ore, and some 400 feet up the slope of this range the moun- tain side is covered with Iron Ore debris, dislodged from the solid rock of the moun- tain by the disintegrating force of the at- mospheric condition of past centuries. In- deed, the existence of these valuable re- sources having been proved, the future of Spitsbergen resolves itself, broadly speak- ing, into a question of shipping., I SUBSIDIARY COMPANIES. We are giving our earnest attention to the- formation of several subsidiary com- panies for working separately the coal, iron, asbestos, marble, and many other valuable minerals located on the com- pany's areas, as well as a store and a trad- ing bank. We are convinced that the more prudent and successful course will be to split up our interests amongst a number of subsidiary companies rather than to attempt to develop the whole of the property ourselves. You will no doubt now wish to learn the present activities of our Company as re- gards work during this year. The 1919 Expedition is one for serious work, and with this end in view your Directors have already despatched the necessary staff- all qualified and competent men. The English and American Expert Staff com- prise Mining and Geological Engineers and Foremen Miners, and in addition a Medical Officer and Assistant, as well as Prospectors, of whom Mr. Mansfield is one of the leaders. The Mining Engineers will carry out the important duties of developing, working and shipping the Iron Ore, Coal, Asbestos and Marble from our properties. North European labour is also utilised and includes miners, car- penters, blacksmiths, etc. I u- FINANCE. I 1 will now turn your attention to the question of Finance. In addition to finding the necessary capital for the Ex- pedition I have already referred to, Mr. oalisbury-Jones had many interviews and much correspondence with the Foreign Office, and as a result Mr. Bal- > four wrote to the Treasury, Admiralty, ï Ministry of Shipping and Ministry of Munitions stating that he considered it desiraole that this Company should be enabled to visit and develop its proper- ties in Spitsbergen in order to preserve their rights thereto which were in dan- ger from neutral competitors who have free access to the islands, and urging them to give our Expedition every facility. He also specially urged the Treasury to grant permission to the Companv to ilstic t?te rmission to the Company to issue the balance of their capital of £ 500,000, informing them that he attached political importance to the matter, and would be glad if the Com- pany s application could he granted. V-rom reasons which we are quite unable to understand, the Treasury Committee on New Issues of Capital refused sanc- tion to the issue of additional capital until recently. One of the effects of this very extraordinary and unreason- able action was to throw difficulties in the way of a settlemont and quotation of our new Shares on the Stock Ex- change. As you already know, the nominal capital of the Company was in- creased on the 8ih May, 1918, to £ 500,000 in shares of £1 each, -all of which have now been issued and taken up. The resolution was carri<v?.

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