Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

13 articles on this Page

NA TURAL RESOURCES OF BORNEO.

News
Cite
Share

NA TURAL RESOURCES OF BORNEO. (From the Lonrlon Kant Indian Telegraph ) No country abounds so much in <jol as Romeo. The alluvial tracts round its whole circumfetenee, ,in extent of ilirce tlioitean(I illileg, e,,ery,,Iierecon- tain rich deposit" of gold I re,m this circumstance, as well as fiom the fact that the natives of the interior descending the rivers in boats, brinj: large quantities of to the coast, it follows that the metal must exist in very extensive veins in the mountains occupying the middle parIs of the Island. Accordingly, wlrere the mountains of primitive formation approach the coast, they are found to contain vein of extraordinary extent and richness. At Montr;:dak, two days'journey from the western coast, there is an etv:>rmons extent of very rich veins of gold. The metal lies ill granite, gneiss, or mica slate. It is "hat is called ,qoltl-yellow gt-)Id. The ore contains from 85 to 9fJ per cent. of pure gold-Ihe residue is principally silver. The mines in this tract are seventy in nt-ruber, and are principally worked by Chinese, who pay Ihe incredibly small seinorage of about nine hundred pouuds per annum to the simple and ignorant native chief, and extract from ninety thousand to one hundred thoHsanù ounces of gold annually, or in round numbers to the value of from three bundled and fifty thousand to four hundred thousand pounds sterling. The other principal gold mines are at Tainbasuk, on the northern coast, and at ATatay, at liaqsir, at Tiroon, at Mangedara, and at Baroongan, on th eastern coast. All these produec great quanti lies of fine gold, though the veins, in some instances forty feet wide, are worked in the rudest manner to the depth merely of a few feet. Such is the abundance of gold in this island, that its as compared to silver, is only as nine and a half to one, instead of fifteen to one—the relative standard generally in Europe. The total produce of the lIIines of Borneo is estimated at nine hundred thousand pounds sterling per annum; and we may safely conclude that a judicious employment of adequte capital, industry, and skill in searching for and extracting ti e ore, would increase the annua! amount tosevcral millions sterling. The diamond ranks next in importance amongst the native riches of Borneo. It is found in no part of the world except in this island, in Ilindoostan, and in Brazil. The principal diamond mine at present worked is at Landak, near the western coast, where it is found in great abundance, depo- sited at a moderate depth amongst fermginous quartz. The neighbouring chief of Matan has a diamond from this mine weighing three hundred and sixty five carats, and, according to the usual rule of valllation, IVorth upwards of two hundred and fifty thousand pounds. Diamonds are also found in Borneo on the northern coast, and at Banjermassing, on the southern coast, and several places on the eastern coast, and are brought by the native traders in considerable quan- tities from the interior- Very rich copper veins abound in many places and at Sarawan, in the north, is a vast deposit of tin ore, repor:ed to be not in'erior in quantity or richness to that of the mines of Banca, which realise one hundred and fifty thousand pounds per annum for the Dutch East India Company. The sea along the eastern coast of Borneo produces pearls more abundant in quantity, and tinpr than those of Ceyloll or of the Persian <ru 1 f. The whole maiitime tract from Unsang, a headland on the north eastern coast to Baseian, distant 300 miles, is one vast and thickly stocked bed of pearl oysters, containing Ihe finest pearls, of such a size that I)izafct(a mentions having seen ii, file possession of the chief of Romeo two as large as pullett's e; £ s. Very fine pearls are at all times to be purchased in this vicinity. The mode of fishing at present here is very rude, and a moderate emp'oyment of skill and capital would vastly increase the supply l'rotn these prolific beds. The fish yielding these pearls is of the mother of pearl species, and exist in quanti ies snfli eient to supply the demand of the whole world for the shell. Upwards of six hundred thousand pounds weight of this shell is annually sent to China. The torfoiseshell obtained on the eastern coast is superior in thickness and fineness to that of this place, and so abundant that it can be procured in any quantity. Above 30,000 pounds weight are annual'y sent to China, whence it is exported to Europe, at an advance of eighty per cent. The camphor of Borneo well known to be the finest in the world, and brings the enormous price of four pounds sterling per pound in the Chinese market. It so abounds that in the interior of the island the natives exchange it for salt, in equal measure. In the province of Paitau, on the eastern coast, there are forrests of the cam- phor I.-e. extendi;}? very many miles, and the produce is of the finest quality lie soil and climate of this island are admirably suited for the growth of pepper, and with moderate care and industry uoold yie!d a supply adequate to any probable demand. If we consider Borneo in a peneral point of view, we must regard it as the finest country in existence. It is nine hundred miles in length, and seven hundred in ils rearot breadth, and has a sea coast of above three thousand miles in extent, and a surface of two hundred and sixty thousand square miles, exceeding the area of France by above one-fourth. It is traversed and fertilized by numerous navigable rivers, that of Banjermassing, which ri-es near the northern coast, and empties itu-lf into the sea on the southern has p pours? of fifteen hundred miles. The sea coist has a great number of excellent harbours, many of them inferior lo none in the world. That of Sandakah is peculiarly fine beinsr capable of contair.ingthewhote shipping of Englund in perfect security. There is in most parts abundance of the finest ship timber. This nobie country roay at present bi" considered nearly uninhabited, since tiioti^h capable of supporting in abundance a hundred millions pf human beings; its present population does not exceed three millions. The climate is salub.-ioua, and by no means so warm as might be expected, the tomper- ature b&in £ lowered bv the sea breezes, and the eurreots of crol air proceeding from the extensive highlands i#f the interior. ^o cool sometimes is (he weather in ipany parts as to render woollen clothing acceptable. In conclusion, we borrow the words of llr lical, a judicious, w accurate, and assiduous investigator, who re«i&ed a long time in the island, and describes it as "situated in t' e track of the most extensive and valuable commerce, intersected on all "ides by deep and navigable rivers, irdeiied with sale and capacious harbours, possessing one of theiichest soils on the globe, abounding in all the necessaries of human lifp, an<J boasting commercial products which have in all ages elicited the avarice and in The e t stimulated the desires of mankind. 17 season the rivers overflow the banks, and run with so great a fI..od that the waters may be tasted fresh at the distance of six or seven miles ,t (-a, and then fertilise the adjacent country, and render it like the plains of Egypt, luxuri- antly producthli, so that it presents to the eye the richest enamelled verdure." And again, I Whoever has witnessed the Egyptian fertility of the soil, the numberless rivers meandering around and intersecting the country in an directions, with the mild temperature of the climate; whoever considers the vast extent and inexhaus'ibie wealth oj innumerable mines of pure native gold; her tin, copper, d*a"r;nnds, her v aluable fisheries of pearl, &c.—« hoever views her por s L:r,j her productive shores at the threshold of the greatest empire in the world must easily conceive what a field and rich harvest this land of promiss holds oul /heir industiy and I

Advertising

NOTES ON THE PARLIAMEN'TARYRLTURNS…

LORD PALMERSTON AN!) THE CHINA…

[No title]

THE NOTTINGHAM ELECTION. --so

A WEEK WITH HER ",.\.JESTY'S…

[No title]

--------_--__--IJ1 P E R 1…

[No title]

----------------------L ATE…

Advertising

M ERTIIVIt TVDV1L, A\N BRECON,…