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3-054 (Original)

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author,male,The Argus,un addressee
Newspaper Article
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Public Written
Newspapers & Broadsides
Clark, 1975
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The pursuit is, in fact, rapidly assuming a more determined character. There is an observable decrease in the number of large prizes of a chance character, and a steady increase in the number of those persons who adhere to diggings as an occupation at which they can gain a much higher remuneration, on the whole, than at almost any other employment.
New diggings are still being discovered. Within the last few weeks a spot named the McIvor Creek, about sixty-five miles north from Melbourne, and about fifty miles east from Mount Alexander has been found to be richly auriferous, and already several thousands of diggers are at work in the locality. There is little doubt but that it will prove a new centre of operations. The diggers in many of the gullies at Mount Alexander and Bendigo have been much impeded during the summer from want of water; but they have been digging out large heaps of rich soil, which will, yield immense quantities of gold now that the streams are beginning to flow, and the washing season is coming round. It is not improbable that the amount brought down during the present winter will exceed even that of last winter. The diggers at the Ovens, on the other hand, have been hindered by floods, by impassable roads, and consequent high prices of provisions. At Ballarat steady yields are still the rule, but even there the miners in many of the flats have been incommoded by the abundance of water. Thus it will be seen how singularly variable a pursuit that of gold-mining is; and it will also strike the intelligent reader, that the colony must be amazingly rich in the precious metal, to have yielded such vast quantities in spite of all these disadvantages, backed by methods of working which are still grossly unscientific.
The Government has issued a new code of Gold Regulations, which are chiefly noticeable for the facilities they offer for the formation of companies for reworking the ground over which the diggers have already passed. There cannot be a doubt that such companies, provided they introduced improved modes of operation and were conducted on the co-operative principle, would prove highly profitable. The ordinary "digging" does not by any means exhaust the soil; it is impossible that it should do so; and the best proof of the fact is, that many men gain considerable profits by washing out a second time, or even a third time, the stuff thrown aside by previous workers. Much more, then, would scientific processes be profitable if so employed. Several such companies as we have mentioned have been projected since the regulations were issued, and it is likely that something considerable will before long be accomplished in this way. [40] But we should again warn English readers that we are not giving any countenance by these statements, to the numerous bubble companies which have sprung into existence in England, with the ostensible design of working our gold-fields. These companies, from the very nature of them, are almost certain to prove dishonest schemes; and some of them are known to be swindling concerns of the most nefarious character. Let no man who values his property have anything to do with them.
No masses of gold of striking magnitude have been brought to light since our previous summary; but even if there had been, they would not have excited much attention here. Nuggets of a few pounds' weight have become too common to deserve special mention, and after a time people become tired of being told of even ten, or twenty pound lumps.