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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 1910  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 01/01/1909   
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TIN


1. HISTORY

New South Wales

The probable occurrence of tin in New South Wales was first referred to by the Rev. W. B. Clarke as early as 1849, while the same author notes having obtained a specimen in the Kosciusko district in 1861 and in the New England district in 1863. He also reported the discovery of stanniferous deposits at different localities in the Darling Downs, Queensland. In 1872 the Messrs. Fearby discovered tinstone near Inverell, and the present Elesmore mine was opened near the spot. The news of the discovery of tin in the New England district attracted a mild rush, and in March, 1872, valuable deposits of stream tin were found at Vegetable Creek. It is interesting to note that native tin, which is extremely rare, was discovered at Oban in this district. At Cope’s Creek stanniferous gravels occur in the channel of the stream and in the slopes adjacent to it. Post-tertiary deposits of tin-bearing ore have been found at Emmaville, where mining was commenced soon after the opening of the district. In the southern portion of the State deposits have been discovered at Dora Dora, near Albury, and Pulletop, near Wagga, in the central-western district at Burra Burra, near Parkes, and in the far west at Poolamacca and Euriowie. The bulk of the yield, however still comes from the Tingha-Inverell district, the production last year being 117,600, out of a total for the whole State of 205,447. Of the total production in 1908 129,952, or 60 per cent., represents the value obtained by dredging. During the year the Sydney smelting Company at Woolwich dealt with 1500 tons of ore obtained from the tin-fields of the State, the value of the product being estimated at 135,460.

Victoria

In Victoria lode tin has been discovered at Mt. Wills, Beechworth, Eldorado, Chiltern, Stanley, and other places in the north-eastern district; and stream tin has been found in a large number of places, including those just mentioned in the north-eastern district. The bulk of the production last year was obtained by dredging and hydraulic sluicing, the chief yields being 39 tons of ore, valued at 3289, raised in the Beechworth district, and 23 tons, valued at 1555, raised at Toora.

Queensland

The first notable discovery of the metal in Queensland occurred in 1872, when rich deposits of stream tin were found in the country to the south of Warwick and on the borders of New South Wales. This district proved to be surprisingly rich, the value of the metal raised there during the five years subsequent to its discovery being 715,000. The alluvial deposits, however, soon became exhausted, so far as the ordinary miner is concerned, but some degree of success has attended dredging operations in the district. In 1879 important discoveries were made in the Herbert River district, and the rich Herberton, Walsh, and Tinaroo mineral fields were opened up, further discoveries being shortly after reported on the Russell, Mulgrave, Jordan, and Johnstone. At the Annan River tinfield, near Cooktown, alluvial mining has been carried on continuously since 1886. The production in 1908 amounted to 4825 tons, valued at 342,191, more than three-fourths of which were produced by the Herberton mineral field.

Northern Territory

Valuable lodes of tin are found in the Northern Territory at Mount Wells, West Arm and Bynoe Harbour, and at Horseshoe Creek, south of Pine Creek, but the deposits have not yet been exploited to the extent they deserve. In 1908 there were 304 miners engaged in bin mining in the Northern Territory and the quantity of tin ores and concentrates exported was 447 tons, the highest yet recorded. This increase was entirely due to the progress at the Mount Wells mine, where, it is stated, there are enormous bodies of payable material awaiting development.
The metal has also been discovered near Earea Dam in the province proper.

Western Australia

Tin was first discovered in Western Australia in the year 1888. and since that date has been found in several widely distant localities in the State - at the head of the Bow and Lennard Rivers, in the Kimberley district; on the Thomas River Gascoyne goldfield; at Brockman’s Soak and the Western Shaw, in the Pilbara district; and at Greenbushes, in the south-western portion of the State. The production of tin ore and ingot for the State during 1908 amounted to 1093 tons, valued at 83,296, to which the Greenbushes field contributed 576 tons, valued at 41,046, and Pilbara 403 tons, valued at 30,636. Lode tin has been discovered at Wodgina, in the Pilbara field, and the deposits are being developed.

Tasmania

Tin mining in Tasmania dates from the year 1871, when the celebrated Mount Bischoff mine was discovered by Mr. James Smith. This mine, which is probably the richest in existence, is worked as an open quarry, and a large proportion of the original hill has been removed in the course of develop operations. Soon after which deposits were located in the north-east district by Mr. G. B. Bell, while deposits of stream tin were discovered near St. Helens by Messrs. Wintle and Hunt. Further finds were reported from Flinders and Cape Barren Islands, and in 1875 the metal was discovered at Mount Heemskirk. The total production of Tasmania in 1908 was 4621 tons of Ore, valued at 421,580, the largest producer being the Briseis Tin Mines Limited, in the North-east division, with a return of 1047 tons. this his company distributed during the year 60,000 in dividends. The Mount Bischcoff mine paid dividends amounting to 36,000, making a total to the end of 1908 of 2,160,000. Good returns are being obtained at the North-East Dundas and at Mount Heemskirk, and a fair amount of alluvial is furnished by the Eastern mining division. Other mines in the Western division are being prospected, and it is stated that some very rich deposits have been discovered.


2. VALUE OF TIN PRODUCED

The development of tin mining is, of course, largely dependent on the price realised for the metal, and, as in the case of copper, the production has been subjected to somewhat violent fluctuations. The table below shews the production in each of the Commonwealth States during the years 1881, 1891, 1901, and 1904 to 1908:

      TIN PRODUCED IN AUSTRALIA, 1881 to 1908.

      State.
      1881
      1891
      1901
      1904
      1905
      1906
      1907
      1908

      QUANTITY.

      Tons.
      Tons.
      Tons.
      Tons.
      Tons.
      Tons.
      Tons.
      Tons.
      New South Wales}Ingots
      Ore
      5,824
      609
      1,454
      203
      648
      11
      1,074
      626
      1,170
      786
      1,161
      510
      1,331
      583
      954
      841
      Victoria
      Queensland
      ...
      ...
      Ore
      Ore
      +
      +
      +
      +
      +
      +
      +
      +
      77
      1,661
      71
      3,923
      124
      3,945
      106
      4,823
      104
      5,140
      79
      4,885
      South Australia
      West Australia
      Tasmania
      ...
      ...
      ...
      Ore
      Black tin
      Ore
      ...
      ...
      +
      +
      +
      +
      +
      +
      +
      +
      81
      734
      1,790
      300
      855
      2,172
      295
      1,079
      3,892
      398
      1,495
      4,473
      436
      1,502†
      4,343
      441
      1,093†
      4,521
      Commonwealth {
      Ingots
      Ore, ect.
      +
      +
      +
      +
      5,002
      9,021
      11,291
      12,966
      13,439
      12,814

      VALUE.

      New South Wales}Ingots
      Ore
      531,303
      37,492
      124,320
      9,643
      76,080
      464
      138,881
      49,496
      163,595
      62,515
      205,373
      50,371
      229,607
      63,698
      126,292
      79,155
      Victoria
      Queensland
      South Australia
      West Australia
      Tasmania
      ...
      ...
      ...
      ...
      ...
      Ore
      Ore
      Ore
      Black tin
      Ore
      7,334
      193,699
      ...
      ...
      375,775
      5,092
      116,387
      1,938
      10.200
      293,170
      4181
      93,723
      5,586
      40,000
      212,542
      5,190
      270,276
      24,179
      58,817
      255,228
      11,159
      297,454
      23,768
      86,840
      362,670
      11,644
      490,283
      36,907
      157,644
      557,266
      10,531
      496,766
      41,365
      166,139
      501,681
      6,070
      341,566
      35,876
      83,595
      421,580
      Commonwealth
      ...
      1,145,603
      560,750
      432,576
      802,067
      1,008,001
      1,509,488
      1,509,787
      1,094,134


Dressed tin ore, about 70% tin. †Tin ingot and ore. ‡ Not available.


3. WORLD'S PRODUCTION OF TIN

According to "The Mineral Industry" the world's supplies of tin during each of the last five years were obtained as follows:-

THE WORLD'S TIN SUPPLIES, 1904 to 1908.
      Origin.
      1904.
      1905.
      1906.
      1907.
      1908.
      Tons.
      Tons.
      Tons.
      Tons.
      Tons.
      English production
      Chinese exports
      Straits to Europe and America
      Straits to India and China
      Australia to Europe and America
      ...
      ...
      ...
      ...
      ...
      4,132
      ...
      57,419
      3,261
      4,846
      4,468
      4,482
      56,840
      1,484
      5,028
      4,522
      4,052
      57,143
      1,292
      6,482
      4,700
      4,000
      52,520
      3,140
      6,612
      4,650
      4,000
      60,463
      2,190
      5,921
      Banka sales in Holland
      Billiton sales in Java and Holland
      Bolivian arrivals on Continent
      Bolivian arrivals in England
      ...
      ...
      }
      11,363
      3,215

      12,978
      9,960
      2,715

      14,245
      9,286
      1,968

      16,394
      11,264
      2,229

      15,500
      }
      13,900

      17,000
      Total (long tons)
      ...
      97,214
      99,222
      101,139
      99,965
      108,124

The main users of tin are the manufacturers of tin-plates, while it is also required in conjunction with other metals to produce bronze, brass, Britannia metal, pewter, printers' type, and solder. It is stated that the rising tendency of prices during recent years is due to the fact that production has not been commensurate with the demands for consumption, and also in some measure to the fact that for industrial purposes the metal can be replaced by others to a limited extent only.


4. PRICES OF TIN

The average price of the metal in the London market for the year 1897 and from 1901 to 1908 was as follows:-

PRICE PER TON OF TIN, 1897 to 1908.

Year
Price per Ton.
Year
Price per Ton.
1897
1901
1902
1903
1904
... ...
... ...
... ...
... ...
... ...

61
118
120
127
126
s.
8
12
14
6
14
d.
0
8
5
5
8





1905
1906
1907
1908
... ...
... ...
... ...
... ...

143
180
172
133
s.
1
12
12
2
d.
8
11
9
6

According to "The Mineral Industry" the maximum price obtained for tin during the period 1897-1908 was reached in December, 1906, when the metal was quoted at 195 19s. 9d. per ton.



5. EMPLOYMENT IN TIN MINING

The number of persons employed in tin mining during each of the years 1901 to 1908 is shewn below:-

PERSONS ENGAGED IN TIN MINING, 1901 to 1908.
Year.
N.S.W.
Victoria.
Qld.
S. Aust.
W. Aust.
Tas.
Cwlth.
No.
No.
No.
No.
No.
No.
No.
1901
1902
1903
1904

1905
1906
1907
1908
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
1,428
1,288
2,502
1 2,745
2,884
3,795
3,173
2,456
...
...
...
50
50
95
87
53
1,148
1,467
1,698
2,237
2,936
2,872
2,582
2,140
...
...
...
...
...
558
384
413
249
294
284

4 79
890
1,003
614
1,065
1,260
1,331
1,304

1,351
1,659
1,828
1,828*
4,054
4,264
5,726
6,620

7,700
9,311
9,227
7,475†
* Figures for 1907; returns for 1908 not available. † Comprising Tasmanian returns for 1907.


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