This image of IPO float was incredible. Photo taken by Ron in 1973 on trip around Opal fields of South Australia.
WHITE CLIFFS OPAL MINES LTD
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
THE TROUBLES OF TRIBUTERS.
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
SYDNEY MORNING HERALD 4 TH OCTOBER 1900
WHITE CLIFFS OPAL FIELD.
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
Sales on ‘Change to-day were .-North Lady Bras- sey, 8s Hid, Egerton, It bid, Sea,7s9d, Lady Brassey, lsGJd
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
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.
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.
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
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 ,
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
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
“.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
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
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
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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