handier and easier for the man (who can both drive the team and woik
the scoop,) it does the work in far less time, as being on wheels it
enables the team to tiavel much faster than with a skid scoop. The
prices given range from ^14 upwards. The principle of the scoop appears
to be the same as that of the Elder steam scoop, regarding which we
quoted a paragraph from the Sydney Mail in our issue of 26th February last.
GOLD IN CEYLON.
Further Official Reports on the Exploration and Digging in 1854
Colombo, 14th March, 1854.
The Hon'ble the Colonial Secretary, Colombo.
have the honor to report for the information of His Excellency the
Governor, that being on a visit to the spot to which the recent
discovery of gold by some sailors has drawn attention, I am enabled
from a personal inspection to confirm the fact of the discovery.
situation of the place of operations is the reeky bed of the Maha Oya
about five miles north of Weweldeniya, between the 31st and 32nd
milestones on the Kandy road, and about an equal distance from Giriole
and Ambepussa, and adjacent to the Kale Gampola Udugaha Korale of the
Kurunegala district and the Udugaha Pattu of the Hapitigam Korale of
the district of Colombo.
Maha Oya, which has a north-westerly direction up to this point, takes
here a nearly direct northerly sweep, and during the dry season
exposes a much broader expanse of bed than at any other part
immediately above or below it.
broken surface, on the eastern side principally, is occupied with a
mass of debris probably washed from either bank, which is found to give
cover to other disintegrating masses, which may belong either to the
rock overlaid or to the superincumbent deposits.
resemblance of this bank to places in which some of the party of
sailors had witnessed the successful search for gold elsewhere, appears
to have attracted them and to have induced them to conduct their
experiments here with results which have in some degree served to
unsettle the public mind.
all I have been able to gather, the quantity of gold collected from the
date of the fast experiment on U\e 2nd instant, docs not exceed one
ounce, and probably does not amount to so much.
washing of about eighteen buckets of soil, weighing about 8 cwts. in my
presence, only yielded half a grain of gold, and I find in a passage in
Dr. Ure's Dictionary of Arts that veins which yield 10 or 11 grains of
gold in a cwt. would scarcely defray the expense of working.
nature of the soil, however, is such as is generally known to be
gold-yielding, and though I am not sanguine that the precious metal
will be found in sufficient abundance to reward the exploitation, I
think every encouragement is due to such persons as are disposed to
prosecute the search, and have accordingly just allowed a second party
of sailors to choose for themselves another place of trial, the traces
of gold according to the report of the first explorers not being
confined to this locality, but being met with at other parts of the
Maha Oya, of which a bar about i| miles lower down the stream, and
another J of a mile immediately above the present occupation have been
mentioned as instances.
Ure states that Reaumur had remarked that the sand which more
immediately accompanies the gold spangle in most rivers, and more
particularly in the Rhine and Rhone was composed, like that of Ceylon
and Expailly, of black protoxide of iron and small grains of rubies,
corundum, hyacyath, &e.