Getting Gold: a practical treatise for prospectors, miners and students eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 180 pages of information about Getting Gold.

“The crux of the whole thing is having a practical miner at the head of affairs, and it is impossible for him to thieve if the work is carried out in the manner I have described.”

To bring the whole matter to a conclusion.  It may be taken as a safe axiom that to make gold mining in the mine as distinct from mining on the Stock Exchange really profitable the same system of economy, of practical supervision, and scientific knowledge which is now adopted in all other businesses must be applied to the raising and extraction of the metal.  Then, and not till then, will genuine mining take the place to which it is entitled amongst our industries.



This chapter has been headed as above because a number of the rules and recipes given are simply practical expedients, not too closely scientific.  My endeavour has been to supply practical and useful information in language as free from technicalities as possible, so as to adapt it to the ordinary miner, mill operator and prospector, many of whom have had no scientific training.  Some of the expedients are original devices educed by what we are told is the mother of inventions; others are hints given by practical old prospectors who had met with difficulties which would be the despair of a man brought up within reach of forge, foundry, machine shop, or tradesmen generally.  There are many highly ingenious and useful contrivances besides these I have given.


The health of the prospector, especially in a new country, depends largely on his housing—­in which particular many men are foolishly careless, for although they are aware that they will be camped out for long periods, yet all the shelter they rely on is a miserable calico tent, often without a “fly,” while in some cases they sometimes even sleep on the wet, or dusty, ground.  Such persons fully deserve the ill health which sooner or later overtakes them.  A little forethought and very moderate ingenuity would render their camp comparatively healthy and comfortable.

In summer the tent is the hottest, and in winter the coldest of domiciles.  The “pizie” or “adobie” hut, or, where practicable, the “dugout,” are much to be preferred, especially the latter.  “Pizie” or “adobie” is simply surface soil kneaded with water and either moulded between boards like concrete, to construct the walls, or made into large sun-dried bricks.  Salt water should not be used, as it causes the wall to be affected by every change of weather.  A properly constructed house of this material, where the walls are protected by overhanging eaves, are practically everlasting, and the former have been standing for centuries.  There are buildings of pizie or adobie in Mexico, California and Australia which are as good as new, although the latter were built nearly a century ago.

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Getting Gold: a practical treatise for prospectors, miners and students from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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