Excerpt from The South African Mining Journal and Engineering Record, Vol. 27: Part I., April 20, 1918
An Encouraging Annual Report for 1917. - The Consulting Engineer on the Prospects.
Mr. \v. L. White, Consulting Engineer to the State Mines, Ltd, in his annual report for 1917, writes - It is gratifying to be able to record substantial progress by the company during the past year. The gross profit amounted to being an increase of over that for 1916. The grade of the ore milled is higher than for 1916, but the chief reason for the improved returns is to be found in the increase in the tonnage treated. This increase was not so great as had been hoped for in view of the enlarged reduction plant having been completed and ready for work at the beginning of 1917. The average number of natives employed underground was being an increase of 36 per cent. As compared with 1916; whilst the tonnage sent to crusher station was being an increase of 65 per cent. As compared with the'previous year. From the percentages given it will be seen that there was a considerable improve ment in the underground efficiency, and if we could have obtained our full complement of native labour the year's results would have shown a still further improvement. A large amount of development work has been carried out ah increase of feet over the previous year's figure and the reef exposures have been highly satisfactory both in width and value. The payable ore reserves at the end of the year were estimated at stoping tons of an assay value of dwts. Over an estimated stoping width of 79 inches. As compared with the position at the end of 1916, the reserves show an increase of tons; the stoping width an increase of 4 inches, and the value an increase of '3 dwt. After some experiments recently carried out in the crushing plant, it has been decided to add a. Further five tube mills. This, with some slight addi tion to the Butters filter plant, will increase the capacity of the reduction works to the neighbourhood of tons per month. The position of the industry as regards the supply of native labour and explosives is anything but clear at the moment, and it is very difficult, in view of the nuoer tainty under these two heads, to make any forecast of the results in the immediate future. The position of the mine is, however, one with which every shareholder may feel thoroughly satisfied, and given an adequate supply of essen tial stores and native labour, further substantial increases in the returns may be confidently anticipated.
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