Opal Mining IPO Float 1896

This image of IPO float was incredible. Photo taken by Ron in 1973 on trip around Opal fields of South Australia.


Out back towns like Charter Towers stock exchange had turnover greater than England stock exchnage at this time.

The float raised 150,000 pounds or equal to $20,250,000 in todays dollars.

Registered office was in london UK

In 1899 up to 1000 men worked the White Cliffs opal fields

But in 1900 the opal fields were worked out and opal was harder to find

In 1899 the company had Mineral mining problems and that the company should not have been granted this lease so no new leases would be registered.

Even today it is same problem with opal leases as government departments have always been difficult to do business with.

Minerals minister also mentions about slump in opal prices- and this in 1899

Top opal sold for $20 per ounce but average was $5.00 per ounce

Today a lot of this crystal opal was sold to England and many Victorian antique jewelery pieces had opal from white cliffs

Photos above were taken in White Cliffs in 1973


Barrier Miner -british newspaper of November 6   1899

Source Trove Digested Newspapers

-Old newspapers are not easy to read     digitally ,so lot spelling mistakes but fantastic reading

IQ Victoria, at Ballarat, the position is so bad that the   Minister has been successfully petitioned to suspend the operation   of portions of . the Mining Act ; and in : this colony, at White   Cliffs, between 800 and 400 men hare been turned adrift by the White Cliffs Opal Mines, Limited, the English company which at   an early stage in the field’s history secured the pick of the leases. Both groups of men   deserve our sympathy ; which lot are in the worse position it   would be hard to say. The trouble at Ballarat is traced to the Mining Act, which, as to   most pro- visions, came into force 12 months ago. The measure   tried for. the first time to

give the tributer a living. wage. ? Parliament was moved to   compassion by harrowing tales ; of months spent by miners- in   unhealthy workings for a return of only a few shillings a week.  The companies’ point of view was not so forcibly set out-perhaps   because the companies have; not so., many votes gathered in ? any   few ” electorates. The fact that tributers aro speculators   just as much as the mine owners are, and that they, always :“stand”  to “make a rise” ; by “striking, a, patch,”  was not insisted upon. Parliament only clearly saw that scores of   these work- men i were not getting’ a living wage; . and the   provision directing the company

to pay to the tributer the whole of tho gold raised ?. by him up :  to’ £1 2s. Gd. ‘per week was inserted. ; The:companies saw that, for one thing, they might be money out of pocket, , and   objected. At Bendigo, where mining matters were ; buoyant, there   was little trouble ; at ’ Ballarat, where depression reigned, tri-

buters and companies conspired to dodge” the Act by entering   ; into 12-month agreements just before ¡ the : ; provision became   law. That 12 months; is up now ; the men cannot therefore contract   themselves outside the Act ; and the companies refuse to let   tributes under the Act, with its sustenance clause hang- ing over   them. In despair the men, through tho Ballarat A. M. A., asked   that the clause be suspended for ‘. 12 months ; and Mr. Foster   consented. ’ ’ There was the hope 12 months ago that very soon the law would be   amended hy the elimination of the sustenance clause or otherwise ;  and the only justifi- cation for the suspension of the law now   would be the intention to ask Parliament to bring in en amending   bill with- out delay-that, or the very vague hope that the   circumstances of the goldfields would change. But thc com- panies,  once bitten, are shy. ” No,” they say in effect, “12 months hare passe and nothing has been   done ; and if w simply fall iii with this proposal to har the law   suspended, .as likely as nc another 12 mouths will be allowed, an   at the end of that time we shall be in a bad a position as ever.  Besides, if case were taken into court, the law would stand ; the Minister’s   suspension of i would not.” ’ This is perfectly true. I is a   most dangerous expedient to sus pend a law, or, rather, to pretend   t do so ; for of course no Minister ha power to hang up the work   of the Legis latnré approved by the Grown. Thei seems to be a   strong’ and growing necee sity to protest against this Ministen«  meddling. Three times lately, in titre separate colonies, there   has been a: instance of it ? in connection with th mining industry   alone. In New Soot! Wales the weighing clauses of the Goa Mines   Regulation’ Act were hung . n] indefinitely ; in Westralia Sir   Jobi Forrest has repeatedly “compromised’ over the alluvial   tronble ; and now there i this case ia Victoria. If Parliament   make bad laws, let the people , learn b; experience what   incompetent bodies thos Parliaments are. That is, after all, tb   shortest cut to good Parliaments. 1 may be rough for the   tributers. But we repeat that it is the shortest cut kindness.

If Ministers were all-wise by all mean: they should be encouraged   to ‘use tbii power ‘of virtual veto. But they an human. Even Mr.  Fegan is human and BO were Mr. Fegan’s predecessors And thus it   came about that when opal were discovered at White Cliffs   a.complaisant Minister, who presumably shared with the MIRER a   comprehensive ignorance on the subject of opal occurrence, granted   leases of 40-acn blocks with a most liberal hand. A: soon as the   mode of the occurrence of the opal gem was known it was -seen   that t mistake had been made. The decision was then come to that   no more leases should be granted. The door was locked ; but a good   deal of the steed -was stolen, That day-labor was found unsuitable   was the best possible proof that leases should nerer hare been   granted. But they were granted ; and if the owners now find that   present prices do not pay them, they are quite within their legal   rights in discharging wholesale, as they hare been doing. ’ It is   a legacy of former maladministration, but maladministration for which we can find excuses.

Tho explanation which has been put forward for the discharge of   hands is that there is a slump in the opal market. We are,  fortunately, under no compulsion to believe this. A company with   the resources of the Opal j Mines, Limited, does not shut down because prices hare fallen any more than the Broken Hill Proprietary   Company ceased work when the fall came in.

There is less reason why the Opal Mines, should do this   seeing that the fall bf gem-prices was expected, and is I most   likely only temporary. What really maybe wanted is to change the personnel of the tributing staff.  Somehow the company seems to .find it more sa isfactory to deal   with men who bare not become experts in valuing gems. And tb en it   is quite possible that there are men who still do not neglect the opportunity to make up some of the money which they have   persuaded themselves the company fairly owes them on their   earliest transactions. These, at any rate, seem to us moro   feasible explana’ tions. Anyhow,’ it is rory unfortunate for tho   Wilcannia district that anything such as this should occur -t this   juncture to mar the prospects of getting the railway line from   Cobar



Mr H J bise, chief inspector of mines, has reported to the   Undor-Secrctary for Mines and Agriculture particulars of his   recent visit to the White Cliffs opal fields He says -“Since   my last inspection the population at the White Cliffs opal field   has increased from 400 to 1000 persons opal mining is duller at   present than tt was some two years ago, and it is thought that the   yield this year will not come up to that of 1899 Never- theless m   large number of persons still lind pay able employment, and the   yield for the year will represent u large aum On my last visit I   advocated m my report that systematic tests should be made in   different parts at deeper levels, but very little, it anything,  has Dean done, and the deepest mining may be noted as not more   than 40ft The workings, however, have been somewhat extended, ’ and may now ne   noted as about 5 miles to G mües ia length in a northerly direction, and 1 mile in width ena ter!/ and westerlv. I again draw   attention to the fact that further prospectmgought to be done, not   only northerly towards the Paroo and Queensland, but also towards   Mount Browne, and all over this extensive cretaceous area AU the   opal so far discovered 1 is found in horizontal veins, the   indication using common opal, known to opal-routers as “potch”

Some of tho gem opal has been sold in small parcels < at’ us   high as £10 per oz , but prices I paid from -5 to £20 per ounce   are of frequent occurrence There appears to be no doubt that White   ’ Cliffs will sooner or later become the centre of a 1 large   mining population, as stated In my former ! report, I think   that in time these large areas, which at present are mere sheepwalks, will have scattered I over   different parts industrious mining com- 1 munilios ARALUEN, Wednesday.

At the Warden’s Court to-dav Warden M Kensey granted suspension of   the labour conditions for six months on four of ¡the Araluen   Consolidated Com- pany’s lenses pending amalgamation and the   building of a second dredge Good progress is being made with the   Araluan Junction Company’s barge

BENDIGO, Wednesday.

Sales on ‘Change to-day were .-North Lady Bras- sey, 8s Hid,  Egerton, It bid, Sea,7s9d, Lady Brassey, lsGJd

BRAIDWOOD, Wednesday.

The Tederal Centrifugal Company’s return is l24oz of gold, the   result of twenty-one eight-hour shifts. A gaug of men is now   engaged turning the creek, and when this has been completed   sluicing will be continued in mid-stream lhe manager intends   treating two more paddocks befoie again

Shifting tbe dredge

BRISBANE, Wednesday.

Chillagoe   Railway and Mines sold to-day on ‘Change at 33s dd, and for   forward delivery at

39s Gd

BROKEN HILL, Wednesday

B H Block IO plant last week treated 2929 tons of crude sulphides,  producing 4b0 tons of concen- trates, bulking 34oz silver, G4 34   per cent, lead, 7 48 per cent. zinc. There wore no despatches The   estimated quantity of concentrate, lying on the mine’s floors at   the end of the week was 1-87 tons.

The general working etope»  in both sections

ot the mine ara loolnn» as   satisfactory as

over, the average assay of the sulphides broken and treated for   the week being 11 ¿oz silver, 14 7 percent lead 17 8 par cent   zinc Development work ia still confined to the Kelly’s section   north and south drives Ih» 011ft level is looking especially   good.

The Junction plant dunng the past week treated 1811 tons of crude   ore, producing -GO tons of con- centrates, bulking 60 percent   lead, lim silver, 5 4

per cent rino

Ure week s empínente comptiaed 298 tons, oon siding of .01 tons   conoentrates to Pott Pine and 97 tons of crude sulphides to Block   14 at Port Adelaide Tho general productive workings are showing an   in- clination to improve, the Trommel assavs of the material   broken and treated for the week averaging 14 percent lead, 9 4oz   silver, 10} per cent zinc Development work is looking fairly   aabafactoiy, especially M’lnts-re’e noith.east drive at the 400ft   level, where a strong breast of milling sulphides la



The September returns show that the milla treated 17 000 tons for   lG.S^loz of gold , cyanide, 34,443 tons for 13,Solo/. , bullion,  total 61,448 tons for 30,412oz gold and bullion The calls for the   month amounted to £2254, and the dividends to £-1.166

Exchange sales to-day wero -Brilliant Extended, contributing, 10s   9d Clark’s Brilliant, Worcester, and Vickory, paid, Is 8d Kelly s   Queen Block, con tnbutiug, 8s lOd Lady Florence, 2s 3d ,  Marshall’s Queen, contributing, 4s Gd Moonstone Consols, Gd ,  Moonstone ‘J rertsure Block, paid, 4d , Victoria and Caledonia   Block, contributing, 8s lOd , Victoria G M Association, 3s Id, 3«  lid

GYMPIE, Wednesday.

The sales and quotations   to-day on ‘Change

were -

Salua Columbia Smithfield, Ja 4d , No 2 North Columbia Smithfield   2s, No 1 South Great East- ern, -s Great Eastern and Orient   Tributo, _s Id, Is lid, No 2 North Oriental und Glaumire, la 7id ,  No . North Pli-mx, 2s Gd, 2s lOd , No 3 North Smithfield, Ort,  South Scottish and Oriental, 2id ,

No 1 Norlh Victory, 5s lOd

Quotations Colombia Smithfield, buyer 3> 3d, seller 3s 4d , No   2 North Columbia Smithfield, bujor Is lid, seller 2a, Columbia   Extended, con- tributing, buyer Is 3d, seller Is Gd Columbia Con-  solidated, contributing, buyer 3s lid, seller 4s4d , South   Glanmire and Monkland buyer 20s, seller 23s, “south Glanmire   *nd Monkland Tribute, bnyor Gd, seller 7d , No 1 South Great   Eastern, buyer 2s, seller 2a Id , No, 2 South Groat Eastern, buyer   69«, teller 77a Nu 4 South Great Eastern, buyer 7d, teller 7}d,  Great -«tern aid Onset Tribute,

buyer la lid, «eller 1« lljd , Nicboll’a Lease Tribute, buyer   Gd, seller Cid Oriental and Glanmire, buyer 19a, seller 23s , No 1   North Oriental and Glanmire, buyer 12» lid, seller Us 11 Na 2   North Oriental and Glanmire, buyer la 81, seller Is lOd , No 1   South Oneutal and Glaumiro liny er Is, seller 4s 3id

North Oriental aud Ulsumire, buyer als 3d, seller 6sRd Extended   Oriental, buyer HI, sailor 6}d , East Oriental and Glanmire   contributing, buyer la lOJd, seller Is lid Oriental and Columhia   Con- solidated, contributing, buyer 1« 2¡d «oller la 3 1

Oriental Oînaol», buyer 5« 3d neller 3s 9d , ditto,  contributing, buyer la 8d seller 2s Pheonix Golden Pile, buyer   10a, Bellet 12s Pheonix Eustern tribute, buyei 2a Gd, seller 3a   London and Bristol, buyer 21rt, seller 4d , No2 North Victory,  buyer is 9d, «aller ?i lOd , North Smithfield, buyer Ila 3d,  seller

Us lOd

HILLGROVE, Wednesday

The gold escort took fiom Hillgrove, on account of the City Bank   of Sydney, this week, 972oz lfldwt of bar gold

HOBART, Wednesday

Exchange   quotations to-day »ero -B H Fro Erietary, buyer 52s Chillagoe   Railway and Muios

uyer 33« seller 30« Gd , Colonel North, buyer la , Hercules,  buyer Ga (id, seller 7« Qd . Mount Lyell, buyer 17 10s, teller £7   12« di , Mount Lyell Blocks, buyer 5s, seller Sa lOd Mount Lyell   Peaks, buyer 3d, sslUr lOd Rovnl lharsi», buyer 2a Gd , Tasman   and Crown Lyell Extended, buyer 2s Great Mount Lyell South, seller   Is 3d British Reid, seller l8« , Mount Bischoff, seller £02 10«


The Mount Charlotte Company crushed 500 tons of ore dunug   September, fur u yield of 28<\iz IJdwt 2gr of gold The cost of   mining nnd nulling com- bined, inclusive of proportionate surface   and manage- ment expenses totalled 21« lOd jaar ton Tho »tone   treated was takon from tho new ly discovered ore body which   branche« off at right angle« eastward from the main lode and   ivitluu a few feet of the

soutb^bouudnry bo far about 125ft of dnviug lia« beon done on   this body, which has been proved at that level to have an average   tluckueat of 3Jft It has also beeu intersected at the tOUft level,  v. here it is only Bin wide, but of good grade

A parcel of 100 tons of soconds from Hanuon’s Main Reef is being   treated ut the Lake View Ex- tended battory


The sales and quotations on tho Milliner Lxchango to-day were   -Sales Fast Tasmania, 2s bd Magnet, 31«, Colebrook, 91

“.Quotation« Moonlight cuni Wonder, buyer 2a 3d, eeller 2a   Od Now Pinafore, buyer Is 7d, seller 2« , [asuiui ia, buyer £7   12a ditto East, buyer 2s Od, Boiler 3a, Magnet buyer 30a Buller   32a, Silver King, boyer £29 Hercules, buyor G« 3d, salier 8b (id   , North Mount Tarroll, buyer 12s Gd Mount Lyell, buyer £7 7s,  eeller £7 13a, Great South Lyell, buyer la 5d, seller la 7d North   Tasmanian Copper, buyer lOd, seller lid Chillagoe Railway and   Mine«, buyer 39« 6d, «ellar 40a Gd Mount Bischoff, buyer £50,  seller £52, South Esk, bayer 4i Gd. «oller 5a

MELBOURNE, Wednoaday

Among mining companies to-day’« «ale« wem - B H Block 10, £5 1   Is B H Proprietary, 53« , B H South Blocks, us 5« Gd , Victoria   Broken Hill, contributing, 4« 10}d, lyell Tbaiai«, 15« , Mount   Lyell, £7 9a, £7 8s

Mount Lyell Blocke, 5a Gd North Mount Lyell, 68« Glen Lyell, 3)d,  3d Mount Lyell Con sola, 7a Gd, ditto, paid, 8t North Orowu Lyell,  paid, li 21 , South Mount Lyell, l18 10a Gd Tas

mun aud Crow n Extended, 2a 3d , ditto, paul, 2s 8d, J« 9d   Chillagoe Railway and Mines, JJ>, 33« Gd Cobar Cheaney, paid,  7s, Copper lop, 7d Waverley 4« Glenfine Consols, 13« 3d,  Glenfine South, £9 10a, £1 9a Maori Queeu, £19 South German 1   xtendal, 19a Al cmfîuey e, 2« 6d ; Band and Looh United, 16« 3d   , Berry Consol«, Hs Gd Birthday, £5 5s, £5 2s, Buninyong   Alluvial, 3« 3d, 3« 6d, 3« fid, Duke United, 10« 3d, 10s 4id   Jubilee Consol«, 3s Gd , South Stai, 10s ‘hi


The Shamrock-cum-Waratah mine has treated at Messrs Duncan andr,  oyes’s works C8 tons of Becond« for a yield of 74os lfidwt, alao   4 ton« of firsts for a yield of 3 loz 12dwt

ADELAIDE, Wednesday

To-day’s Exchange eales and quotations were - B H Block 14, 29s   Gd, buyer -Ja 3d, seller 30s, B H Proprietary, buyer 52s Od,  seller 13s British Broken, new, buyer 21s 3d, seller 25a 9d, B.H   Junction, buyer lGs 9d, seller 17s 3d Junction North 11s Od, Hs   GI, buyer Ile 6d, seller lle’Jd, North Broken, 35s 3d, 35s, buyer   31s, seller 35s , North Central, Is Id B H South Blocks, 10s Ud,  seller 1 Is , ditto, contributing, 5s 9d, 5s 3d, seller 5s 7d ,  Sulphide Corporation, ia Id, 23s, buyer 23s, seller 23s l.d ,  Associa ted i Id Mines, 70s, Ms Gd, 70s, buver S9s u 1, seller   70s, ditto Ni r thurn Blocks, G3s, r.s Gd, buyer 02s 3d, seller   62s ‘Jil, Bayloy’a United, Gs lOd, Gs 7d, buyor ( s Id, soller Gs   7(1 Hannan s Block 45,6s Gd, Bonnie Charlie, con- tributing, Is Id   Boulder Central, contributing, lid, Boulder Half-mile .South, 5s   lid, buter 5s Ud, seller Gs Buulder North Extended, Is 8(1 Brown   Hill Junction, 2s Id , Crrjr.ua Proprietary, li 7d, 2s lOd, buyer   2s lOd, seller Is, Cumberland, con- tributing, Is 5d, ls4d.  Chaffers, 14s Gd, 14a 7’d, buyer 14s 4Jd, seller 14s Orri, Great   Bonldor, die 6(1, 31s 4Jd, buyer 31s 3d, seller .La Mid, Great   Boulder Main Reef, 4G» Gd, 44s Gd, 4Gs, buyer 4Gs Great Boulder   No 1, buyer Gi Gd, seller 7s , Hainault, 21s, soller 25s ,  Hannnn’a Oroya, 33s, buyor ¿2s fid, seller 33s , Iyonhoe Gold   Corporation, ¿IO lGs, £10 Us, buyer £10 14s s-ller £10 17s,  Ivanhoe Juuotion, 7s 4d, buyer 7s 3d, seller 7s Gd Lady Mary, 3s   bd, buvor 3s Gd, seller 4s 2d , Lake View South, buyer Os Gd,  seller 10s

Mount Benson, ls4d North Kulgurli, 14s 3d, buyer Us 3i|, seller   15s Oroya South, Is Id , Princess Royal, i aid ¿7s 3d, buyer 27s   ditto North, It Id, 2s 2d, buyer 2a 2d, seller it 3d , ditto,  contri- buting, In -id , Queen Margaret, buyer 12s Gd, seller lia   3d Baker’s Crsek, buyer 7a bd seller 7a 0d”, South Kalgurli,  buyer Sis 6d, seller 83s , Wal- laroo and Moonta, 25a, Chillagoe   Railway and Mines, 39s, 37a lOJ’J, buyer 37s 9d seller 38s , Lorna   Doone, 2s 4d, 2s 3d, 2s 4d buyer 2s 11, seller 2s 5d , Paull’»  Consolidated, £28 £27, £27 2s Gd, buyer £27, seller £27 5s,  lure iola North, buyer £12, seller £14 , Tarcoola Proprietory,  40s, 39s, buyer Vu, seller 40s, Tarcoola United, 4s Oil, ditto,  contri- buting, 2t 2d, 2s 3d, 2s 5d , North Queensland Tin, £125,  £160, buyer £160

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