THE SCOTCH GOLD DIGGINS.
Last week, on account of the heavy rains swelling the burns and
flooding the workings, most of the diggers could get little work done; but now that
the weather has improved, all hands are at work again and many are doing well.
Previous to the late rains, diggers were generally very successful on the
claims recently allotted to them close to the village, their average findings
being fully equal to 10s a day each man, and a good many by their own admission -
though not appearing on the royalty book - were making at the rate of £1 per
Several old hands have struck on what they term a lead of gold, and
have followed it underground, driving a regular tunnel so far in as to
necessitate the use of a light to enable them to carry on their work. Formerly from six
to twelve feet of earth had to be dug and thrown to a distance before getting
to the rock, but now the rock is followed, sufficient debris being removed to
allow the digger to work in a recumbent position, thus saving an immense
amount of labour.
It is understood that the Duke of Sutherland, on his arrival in
Kildonan and Suisgill burns up to their source, and agreed to give out claims where
they considered the prospects good. The request, however, to be allowed to
work on the Kinbrace burn and other coveted spots was not allowed. Many of the
diggers are men possessed of means acquired in colonies, and are merely out for
a holiday, trying their luck at Kildonan. As winter approaches they will give
up digging and it is thought few or none of them will remain longer than the
month of October.
Only from 60 to 70 licenses were issued for September, and, unless the
charge is reduced to a sum which the unemployed poor in the district will be
able to pay; the license for the time to come are sure to dwindle down to
something very insignificant. Gold is still in demand, and the price at present is
from £3 9s to £3 10s per ounce. - Northern Ensign.