“Considering the extent of the auriferous deposits in this Colony (estimated at 35,000 square miles), it is quite evident that the number of miners (7,074) engaged in gold-mining, and the amount of capital (£306,532) invested in gold-mining plant, is altogether inadequate. In the absence of proper appliances, the few miners we have may be said to have performed wonders; but there is a limit beyond which they, unaided by suitable machinery, cannot go.
“Hence it is that in most cases our larger quartz veins and deeper alluvial deposits have been neglected, because, to be worked profitably, they must be worked systematically on a large scale, aided by all the labour-saving arrangements and appliances available. It is true that extensive works are in operation on some few of our gold-fields, but they are barely sufficient to show what can be done by good management and well-directed enterprise.”
Left: Mines Department Annual Report 1878. Image and content presented here from this report reproduced courtesy of NSW Trade & Resources, Minerals & Energy