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Hamilton Goldfield. DISCOVERER'S PEPORT. (24 February 1900)

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The report of the discoverer of the Hamilton goldfield, Mr. John Dickie, has been forwarded to the Minister for Mines. It reads as follows :

After 36 weeks prospecting I have to report to you as follows : I started last May at the head of the Colman River, and prospected round divide to the head of Morehead River. I got a little gold in some of the gullies on the eastern fall, but none on the western fall near the divide. The year before last, when out prospecting here, I got payable gold in a reef between the head of the Morehead and the Colman river, but the great storm of last year that swept over the Musgrave telegraph station levelled the trees to the ground for many miles, and I could not get near these reefs. There is about 6 miles of this country by 4 miles across. I got colours of gold in many of these reefs the year before last, and I re gretted very much that I could not get near them when I came out last year. There will be payable reefs got here. Eight miles from the head of the Colman river there is a chain of broken country, and low ranges start and run north-west for 100 miles. There are quartz reefs and mineral veins right through this country. The formation is granite, but on all the high ridges there is mica schist. I prospected right through this country and got gold in many places, but before I got to the Lukin River the water was beginning to get very scarce, and for the remainder of the distance I had to pack some of the wash dirt 10 miles. I should have been in here in June, and it was late in August before I got north of the Lukin River. Nothing but coarse prospect- ing is any good here. I do not think that there will be anything very rich found here in alluvial, but I think that there will be some very rich reefs got through this country, as I found some of the finest looking reefs I ever saw in any part of Queensland. Two miles north the Kindle River the formation is a clay slate, and no mica schist. I prospected from the Kindle River north-west till I was duffered out for want of water. The best prospects I got in any part of this country in alluvial and reefs was 10 miles north of the Lukin River ; when I finished prospecting here and was duf- fered out for want of water, I was 90 miles west of the Coen. I then started for the head of the Lukin River, where I found the Hamilton goldfield, and which I reported to the acting warden here five weeks ago last Wednesday. I found the first payable reef half a mile north of the alluvial prospecting claim. No one at present on the Hamilton would look at a reef till I found the Hamilton King ; now they are all looking for reefs. There are many better looking reefs than the Hamil- ton King right through the find and north and south of it. I was four weeks on the Hamilton, when I found payable gold and packed some of the wash eight miles. I will try and start; prospecting again about the end of March. It is impossible to travel through this country in the wet season. I brought a mate out with me, but he got very sick after he had been with me a few weeks, and I had to bring him in here after he had been ten weeks out. He delayed me very much. Since then I have been single-handed. The best prospects I got on the Hamilton King were from 12 lbs. of stone, from which I got 3 ozs. of gold, but I got pieces that would go 30 per cent gold. Plenty of other stone I could not get a colour in, but as I only prospected one day in this reef before I came in here to report it, I cannot give an opinion as to whether she will go down. The best prospects got in alluvial so far are by a party of four. They got 21 ozs. in seven days. There are not many men on the Hamilton yet, but a few are coming every day. We have had a lot of rain the last three weeks and the country is very boggy from here to the Hamilton. There is no track out BRISBANE, February 23. A telegram has been received by the Under Secretary for Mines from the acting warden at Coen, stating that the size of the reef struck in Dickie's prospecting claim on the new goldfield called the Hamilton is from 6in. to 8in. a few feet below the surface.

Hamilton Goldfield. (1900, February 24). Gympie Times and Mary River Mining Gazette (Qld. : 1868 - 1919), p. 2. Retrieved January 5, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article177735719

PHOTOGRAPH OF JOHN DICKIE on this site in Cooktown

http://www.bonzle.com/c/a?a=pic&fn=m89w25o2&s=3

John Dickie was born at Monymusk, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, 22 August 1848 and died in Innisfail, Queensland, 31 November 1924. He was known as 'The Stringybark Fox'.

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