(From the " Melbourne Argus " )

Gold mining has been carried on steadily and successfully during the past
month.  The yields, so far as can be ascertained, are quite equal to the
averages that have been recorded during the last few years, and so long as
they evince no falling off, it may be said that the industry is becoming
individually much more profitable.

For some years past there has been a constant diminution in the number of
miners actually at work, owing principally to the fact that many of them
left mining to settle down on the land or follow trades and other
occupations.  The natural consequence to be expected from the reduction in
the number of miners was a large reduction in the yield of gold, which,
however, has not taken place so far, at least as the last two or three years
were concerned, the average yields for each individual miner, having been so
much more than formerly, that they have kept up the total returns to an
amount equal to what was obtained from a greater number of miners several
years ago.

The increased yield, as compared with the miners employed, is due to the
great progress which has been made in the development of quartz mining by
the successive discovery for a long time past of new quartz reefs and the
improvements and extensions which have been added to the machinery employed
for crushing and extracting gold from quartz stone.  The quartz-mining
industry has now indeed attained to such dimensions that the returns from it
exceed those from alluvial-mining, which was the original, and, until
recently, the principal mode of obtaining gold.  Scarcely a month ever
passes by without bearing its testimony to the increase of quartz-mining by
the record of a new discovery of a gold-bearing quartz reef, either in a
well-known quartz district, or in a district where previously quartz-mining,
if followed at all, was only carried on tentatively.

Sandhurst especially has been very remarkable for the great strides made
there in quartz-mining during the last three or four years, and it has been
mainly through the reefs which appear to run in and around the city of
Sandhurst itself that the yield of gold has been kept up, notwithstanding
the falling off in the numbers of miners employed in the colony.

There have been several announcements made during the past month of the
striking of new reefs or indications of reefs, in some of the many
prospecting companies now at work at Sandhurst, and though there has not as
yet been sufficient time to ascertain the value of the discoveries, they add
another proof to the now almost universal opinion that the riches of
Sandhurst are comparatively speaking inexhaustible.  At the present time the
greater proportion of the Sandhurst mines are doing well, but none are
giving such extraordinary returns as were furnished some months back by the
Great Extended Hustler's Company, by its tribute company, and by the
Johnson's Reef Gold Mines, and the result is that the share market is
somewhat dull at present.  The share market cannot, however, alter the
returns from the mines, as they will continue in accordance with the success
of the various claims, whether the unreasonable speculation with high prices
of shares which too often prevails here is the rule or not.

The account from Stawell, the quartz mining district which is second in
importance in the colony, are also encouraging, as from time to time new
reefs are found, each of which shows the richness of the country thereabouts
in quartz gold.  It is now considered by many that Stawell will in the long
run be quite as good a quartz district as Sandhurst.

Quite recently, too, Blackwood - which is situated in the Ballarat district,
but a long distance from the city of Ballarat - has come prominently into
notice in consequence of the very rich returns from some of its quartz
reefs, especially one in the Sult** claim.  The last return of that claim
was at the rate of 2 oz. of gold per ton from 290 tons of stone, and it is
said that the company have many years of profitable work before them.  On
Ballarat itself, which has been perhaps the richest alluvial-mining district
of the world, attention is now being constantly directed to quartz-mining,
in some instances with success, and it is hoped and believed that Ballarat
will yet be a great quartz-mining town.

A few weeks ago there was a rush to some new alluvial diggings at Lal Lal,
near Ballarat, and it was said that a fair quantity of **** gold and nuggets
were obtained there, one of the latter being of the weight of 80 oz.