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Gold-mining in Merionethshire.…

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Gold-mining in Merioneth- shire. OPENING OF THE EDEN MINE, DOLGELLEY. (THE ONLY FULL REPORT) An important development in the gold-mining industry of North Wales was celebrated on Satur- day last, on the occasion of the opening of the Eden Gold Mine, Tvnygroes. near Dolgelley. That the industry has become a permanent one as far as Merionethshire, at least, is concerned, is too evident to need comment, and recent Government returns prove conclusively that Welsh gold-mining offers better prospects to the investing public than many similar properties elsewhere. The mines require only moderate capital, and, with careful and ex- perienced management and the best machinery, there is no reason why the Welsh gold mines should not occupy a foremost position amongst the gold mines of the world. The Eden Gold mine is situated about six miles from Dolgelley, in the heart of Merionethshire. The surrounding country is delightfully pretty and romantic, and the heather-covered hills, which rise majestically all around, have a charming appearance at this time of year. The new venture, which is designated the Eden Gold Estate Company, has at its head an American lady, named Mrs Keightley, who has had considerable experience in gold-mining in her native country, The Company has purchased the Cefndeuddwr Estate, which comprises about 525 acres. Although only purchased by Mrs Keightley on April 2nd last, the necessary machinery has been erected, and the actual production of gold has commenced. There are fifteen lodes, nine direct and six cross, and each lode has fully three quarters of a mile run. Digging is now carried on chiefly in I No. 6 lode, and the assay of this lode has proved it to be very productive. During the tasting a result was obtained from picked stuff equal to 400ozs. to th6 ton. The ore contains a little copper, and also blende, The Company at present are working solely for the gold, butit is:intended shortly to erect a concentrator for the copper. The crushing mill is fitted with the most modern machinery, supplied by Messrs Mills and Sons, Heywood, near Man- chester. There are eight crushing pans, measuring 3ft. 6in. across, with bolts weighing 13cwt. Each of these pans will be capable of dealing with about 5 cwt of ore every nine hours. The motive power for the machinery is supplied by water, of which there is a sufficient supply from both the Eden and the Mawddach Rivers. Although only six h. p. is required at present, the Company has at its command power equal to 36 h. p., and with the riverat its lowest on Saturday, the large wheel supplied sufficient power by being driven at only quarter speed. The manager of the mine is Capt. Evans, of Barmouth, a gentleman who has been associated with gold-mining in North Wales from its earliest days. No one is better fitted by ex- perience and energy to carry the venture to a suc- cess than he. He has already shown his ingenuity in the erection of the machinery and in bringing the water power under control. In regard to the latter, especially, he bas been exceedingly success- ful, The water is taken from the river several hundred yards above the mill, and is brought down by means of a wooden trough, with the result that a power is obtained more than ample for the pur- poses required. Saturday last being the first day on which amalgam was taken from the pans, Mrs Keightley invited a number of gentlemen and the workmen employed at the mine to a celebration dinner at the Tynygroes Inn. Dr Keightley presided, and those present were Alderman J Hughes Jones, J.P., Aberdovev, and Dr J. Jones, Dolgelley (members of the Merioneth County Council), Mr Charles Breeze, Portmadoc (solicitor to the Company), Captain Wm. Buckley and Mr Ellis Wilkin, Barmouth; and Captain Evans (manager), together with Messrs Griffith Pearce, Cefndeuddwr; E. H. Pearce, Humphrey Humphreys, Edward Gittings, Hugh Hughes, Richard Owen, Evan Jones, F. M. Griffith, Robert Pugh, David Roberts, Isaac Williams, John Williams, and G. Fern. After partaking of an excellent dinner, provided by Host and Hostess Williams, Mrs Keightley, accompanied by Mrs Charles Breeze, Portmadoc, and Miss Hargrove. London, entered the room, and received an enthusiastic welcome. In acknowledging the reception accorded her, Mrs Keightley said:—It gives inc great pleasure to see you all with us to-day, to celebrate ttie advent o'f the youngest child among Welsh mining industries, the baby, as it were, the Eden mine. I would like to call your kind attention to some facts in regard to this young industry, which I think will interest you. On April 2nd of this year, I purchased he mine. On April 17th, the Manager was at Heywood, ordering the machinery. On June 5th the machinery arrived at Dolgelley. On the 23th of June the machinery started to work. On July 2nd we went formally to work, this being the date on which the quicksilver was first put into the pans. And to-day, the 13th of July, we have obtained the first results, which are satisfactory beyond the usual expectation (applause). The mine has had difficulties to encounter. There was a very difficult watercourse to construct, regarding which the man in the street" said that it could not ba done; and there were other difficulties, such as one always expects to meet with in any new enterprise. But all these have been successfully overcome, thanls to the industry, the loyalty and the genius of my colleague and manager, Captain Thomas Evans (cheers). Captain Evans reminds me of an old negro preacher, whom I once hpard. He was talking to his congregation, and he said "Brethren, if de Lord was to tell me to jump through a stone wall twenty feet thick, why, Brethren, I'd jump I Jumpin' at it belongs to me; gittin me through it belongs t) de Lord." (laughter). Captain Evans is always keoll to jump at a difficulty, and I must say that he generally gets through (hear, hear). My thanks are due to him, and also to those among you who have assisted me by your work, so faithfully given. And I must not forget to speak of Mr Pierce, the surface lessee, whose good will has _l"r.Y\ou"'+h counted for much. Mr Pierce is goou 10 ™ In giving you the data which I have given, I wish to say that, to my mind, they are of importance, and for this reason.—We wish to assist in the developement of Wales, and one obstacle in the direction of the opening up of mines, is that it is considered necessary to spend so much money, such large sums, in expensive machinery, which often cannot be run during the dry season, and to wait for such a long time before results can be obtained. If you can show that these large sums are not needed, that investors with smaller purses can come into the country, and can work with less machinery--as in pans versus stamps and by careful management and economy, putting one root before the other, can obtain fair results with less risk, then you can hope to envelope the mines of this district with rapidity.-(Applause.)-And I may claim for myself that I have a rightful interest in Wales, and in this part of Wales. You all of you know that I am an American; but you do not know, perhaps, that I am half Welsh by birth. My grandfather, Chief Justice Ell;s I.ewi,, was of direct Welsh descent; the old Crusader whose tomb is to be seen in Dolgelley Church, is our ancestor and our people came fromN annau and Cors-y- Gedol. We have still onr ancient Welsh Bible, which some of my people brought over from Wales, and our interest in her welfare has always been great (hear, hear). Then, too, like all Ameri- cans and Welshmen, I believe in worK. ou nave a future King who believes in work. Little Prince Edward of York said but the other day It seems we are all to be Kings, but I wont, I am going to be a doctor." Like him, this Eden, this baby mine, has a mind, just as a child may have a character. This mind is what I will call the policy of the Eden. Its policy is twofold. The first point is this We stand for expansion, and not for monopoly (hear, hear). We think that there is room for all, and we extend the hand of gco 1 fellowship to all miners and intending investors. We want to see the country opened up, and to see all farmers, miners, ar.d all concerned, participating in the benefits obtained. In the second place, we believe in spending in the country what is made in the country, and for this reason, among others, my husband, Dr Keightley, has purchased Glan- mawddach, and we hope to reside among you, our neighbours and friends, during a part of each year (applause). I will not detain you longer except to say that some objection has been voiced to me in regard to mining spoiling the face of the country. But., ladies and gentlemen, you cannot spoil Wales. The Divine Power that made her beautiful, that placed her smiling among her mountains, made her strong, too strong for the hand of man to disfigure. The dumps and waste heaps of the mines are no more noticeable than are the scars and landslides of her rugged rocks and hills. And, for my part, I would see her harbours full of shipping, an army of miners in every mine (cheers). And so I will ask you to drink a toast with me—" Yr wyf yn dymuno llwyddiant i'r Gymry a'u gwlad." The Company joined enthusiastically in drinking the toast, and Mrs Keightley afterwards presented each of her guests with a pipe and a quantity of tobacco. Captain Evans, in returning thanks to Mrs Keightley for her generosity, said she was a lady who bad come to live amongst them, not with the object of seeking a fortune for herself, nor as a company promoter, nor as a speculator either, but as a lady desirous of developing the mineral wealth of the country for the benefit, the wen-being, the prosperity, and the happiness of all miners, work- men and t1 c:r families. These, by doing their best for Mrs Keightly, would thus be doing their best for themselves, and when he expressed his own sentiments he believed be also expressed the feel- ing of every one present, when he said that they all desired every success and long life to Mrs and Dr Keigbtley (applause). Their generosity and kind- hearted actions had already won the esteem and admiration of all those who had known them, and" am hyny byw byth bo Mrs and Dr Keightley" (cheers.) Before the ladies retired from the dining-room, Dr John Jones said he thought it was their duty to pass a most cordial vote of thanks to Mrs Keightley for her hospitality that day. They were all very grateful to her and ought to be still more grateful to her for coming to this beautiful old county of theirs to open up and develope some of their gold mines, and to show all the world and the editor of a certain newspaper that gold was to be found in the county, and if properly worked w; s to be found in paying quantities. (Applause). He was afraid that some of the mines in the county had failed through not being properly worked, and being over-capitalised. He was glad to find the present mine was worked on sound financial principles, and he felt assured that gold-minit.g would become a permanent industry in their midst, and give employment to hundreds of men. (Hear, hear). They ought to be very proud of Mrs Keightley and the other people who came to their county to open up these mines. It was their duty in their different spheres to see that nothing was done to cripple or paralyse these industries. He thought every encouragement, and support should be given them, and he wished every success and prosperity to this mine—(Hear, hear). He had no doubt as to the future of this mine, because he found it had as its manager such an able gentleman as Capt. Evans. He was a man whom they all respected, who, from his cradle up practically, had worked in the gold mines of North Wales- (Applause). What he did not know about gold- mining was not worth knowing, and they all ought to be very proud of him—(Hear, hear). He hoped both Dr and Mrs Keightley would be long spared by Providence to enjoy life among the hills and glens of the beautiful county of Merioneth—(Applause). Songs were given at this stage by Mr Griffith Pearce and Mr E. H. Pearce. Mr Charles Breeze, in proposing the health of Dr and Mrs Keightley, said he did not think any offence would be given Mrs Keightley if they applied to Dr Keightley the term of her better half. They all knew with what thoroughness she had thrown herself into this enterprise, and be joined heartily with Dr Jones in wishing the new mine every prosperty. Mrs Keightley had referred to the fact that the Eden mine had started as a lamb. It had come into the fold, and he hoped it would prosper and grow amongst them. He could say that he could claim some slight credit for having intro- duced that lamb to Mrs Keightley in conjunction with his friend, Capt. Evans. If it did stray from the fold. he hoped it would have the benefit of any medical skill which Dr Keightley could afford. Should it fall into a pitfall beyond the help of Dr Keightley, then he (the speaker) thought his pro- fessional services would be required to provide it with food and medicine of a different kin(i-(Hear. hear, and laughter). He hoped it would not fall foul of anything, but would live in peace and harmony with its neighbours. If it did, he would have the greatest pleasure in extricating it from its difficulties—(laughter)—, and at the same time perhaps, benefitting himself—(Renewed laughter). Every benefit accruing to himself would be small compared with the inestimable good which might accrue to the Company from the help he might be able to afford. But, joking aside, it afforded him great pleasure to see this enterprise started. Although in the past-even the short period of ten or twelve years' ago—it was deemed almost impos- sible to start an enterprise of this sort without an excessive amount being spent in providing machinery, still the last ten or twelve years had made a great difference as to the necessity of a large amount of machinery. There was also another difference, that whereas before there was a ,in keenness in competition, in these days it was recog- nised that they must help one another. If they wished to succeed and wished the country to succeed, and especially the county of Merioneth, they could only hope to see that success by cordially co-operating one with another in making the difficulties light, and in joining forces to urge the Government to reduce royalties; to give every facility for the better working of mines, and, above all, of facilitating the means of transit as between the point of production and the point of export. In this respect, light railways would come largely to their help, and he hoped ere long to see a scheme of light railways, between Dolgelley and that district. He did not think light railways would spoil the scenery. They would, no doubt, affect materially the output and bring in a much larger profit, which at present was expended on the cost of transit. He hoped the different proprietors of mines would put their heads together, and try to induce the authorities to overcome tne very small difficulties that really existed in the way of such an enterprise. In this district, Mrs Keightley deserved praise which they could not stint them- selves in giving.—(Hear, hear.)—Of course, it rested with the future to say bow far she might succeed or fail. He would emphasize the point that she came there to help the people of the district, and it went without saying that all would benefit in divers ways by her success—(applause.)—It behoved them, therefore, to put aside any little point where they thought they were being less well treated than they ought to be, in order that the success of the mine might be -vell assured. The health of Dr and Mrs Keightley was then heartily drunk with musical honours. Dr Keightley, in responding, said short speeches made long friends, and he did not propose, there- fore, to endanger their friendship by being at all lengthy. He thanked them very much for the kind way they had drunk his health, but more especially for the way they bad received Mrs Keightley, Mr Breeze had alluded to him as the better half. He rather reversed the process, he believed because it was usually put the other way. But the fact re- mained that united they stood, and divided they fell, and Mrs Keightley and himself would do their utmost to make those things in which they succeeded a success for all those who helped them.—(Applause). They did not want to come there and take things out of the country, and then go home and say Wales is good enough to get money out of, but it is not good enough to live in." They wanted to be a part of it themselves.—(Hear, hear). They might not belong to the country, although Mrs Keightley did by descent, yet they wanted to make the country feel that they belonged to it, and bad its interests at heart.—(Applause). Mining in Wales had a varied reputation, but it was a reputation which he thought had in many instances been very much belied. It would be their object to bring to the county that prosperity which Wales deserved, aud ought to have, and shall have. It had a future before it,(Hear, hear.). And it had the power of making it for itself. Dr Keightley spoke highly of the capabilities of Captain Evans, and said without him, Mrs Keightley or himself would have little chance of success. It was due to his unbounded energy, his management, and care that the mill had been started in so short a space of time. They had before them an example of the man in the extremely able manner he had worked out the watercourse; he had overcome all obstacles, and bad brought water to the mill in a way that people sai 1 it could not be done, and be now had six times as much water power as was required, although he hoped it would not be six times as much as he would ultimately require (applause.) The whole scheme was only started on the 2nd April, and in a little over two months the mine was practically in full working order. Had it not been for Captain Evans, he felt that the mine would not have bean started for another two or three months (bear, hear.) Dr Keightley, in conclusion, asked the company to drink to the health of Captain Evans, and this was heartily done. The toast of The Host and Hostess was given in felicitous terms by Captain Buckley. Mr E. H. Pearce, speaking in Welsh, thanked Dr and Mrs Keightley, on behalf of the workmen, for the invitation extended them to such an enjoyable dinner. Captain Evans, addressing the workmen in Welsh, said they all knew the situation of things in the county, and the great difficulty there was to get persons to spend their money in opening up the mines. But Mrs Keightley bad come forward, and bad invested her money. She had given it into the hands of a complete stranger, almost, and he (the speaker) could only say he had done his best for her. He looked for great success in this enterprise (hear, hear) and that i t would give encouragement to go on and open many other places, so that the country might be benefitted, and some return given to those who had invested their money (applause.) Aldeiman J. Hughes Jones, in the course of a shortaddress, said although he wasa stranger among them, he was very glad of having had the opportun- ity of being present at that dinner. He thought it was a very good step when masters came amongst their men in that manner to associate with them. He was sure that thereby the men would be ani- mated by a better spirit toward the lady who owned the mine, and that she would know more about the workmen by interesting herself in their welfare than by keeping aloof (hear, hear.) He believed he had seen more years than anyone present in that room, and from what he had witnessed that day be thought this mine, at its commencement, was going on in the right way. He had always expressed hl ,eJf that the great folly he found in staiting mines of this sort was going to too much expense with the machinery, before finding whether the mine would be productive or not. That was not so in this case. He found here that they were very economic with the machinery, and yet had sufficient machinery to give the mine a proper test, and which would enable them to find out what they had in the mine. Of course, it was a very easy matter to extend the machinery, if they Cound that the mine justified it. The great fault in the past had been to spend too much on machinery, and aterwrrds the mines failed to realise what had been expected of them. There were gentlemen present who had exaniied the mine, and who knew what treasures were t) be had there. He was of o, inion that the days were over when people could run down Merionethshire and run down Wales and say there was no gold to be found there- (Applause.) The fact of it was that a good deal of gold had been found and more would be found alain.-(Applause.) Those people who had been running down Wales as being non-productive of valuable minerals would find out their folly, and regret having persisted so long in their policy of obstruction.—(Hear, hear). Without a doubt there were treasures in these old hills, and he was very glad that Dr Keightley and Mrs Keightley were going the right way to bring them out.. He hoped they would continue to succeed, and that this was only the commencement of a large undertaking. Addressing the Chairman, in con- clusion, Alderman Hughes Jones said he was very glad to see him amongst his men showing a good example to all employers.—(Hear, hear). He hoped the men would prove themselves worthy of the treatment, and the kind feeling shown toward them —(Applause.) The enjoyable proceedings concluded with the singing of the English and Welsh national anthems. The visitors, subsequently, drove to the mill, which is situate about a mile from Tynygroes, where the crusuing machinery was set in motion. Some of the ore from the mine was washed in the presence of the visitors and visible gold produced, the process of separating the gold from the quick- silver and other inferior metals being very interest- ing to watch. Captain Evans, on this occasion, secured a most satisfactory result, a ton-and-a-half of ore producing a ball of amalgam weighing between six and eight ounces.

I Aberystwyth Town Council.…

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