TLS from the Laloki Mine, Papua New Guinea, 28th October 1923. Mining, New Guinea.

TLS from the Laloki Mine, Papua New Guinea, 28th October 1923.

2 page TLS describing in great detail the difficulties in setting up a mining operation in New Guinea. The author, H. Edward Clayton, is attempting to set up an aerial tramway to transport the ore. It is 3 1/2 miles long and passes over very rough country - the difficulty in hauling the cable is palpable. Clearly having been engaged in mining in other parts of the world before, he speaks of Papua NG as "the worst country I've struck in getting anything started up", with no facilities, the necessity of setting up your own company mess, where as in the past "anywhere else a bording (sic) house keeper will light along and start up a show even if it does a bit of sly grog as well". He blames the "Navigation Act", which he calls "a curse on this country"... "We have Dutch and Japanese boats passing within a hundred miles and the only ones allowed to call here are the little island boats of B.P's; the work is too much for them and the result is high fares and feights (sic) and infrequent service..."

Several other people are mentioned. There is a reference to "Bill Horsburgh", who is the assayer on this mine, married with three children, one of them was hospitalized for rheumatic fever in Port Moresby. "Bill has changed a good deal- as quiet as can be until he has a few in and the crust cracks." This could be a reference to William Horsburgh, enlisted in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in 1916 and spent 16 months at the front when he was captured by the Germans in 1918 during the Ludendorf offensive. He would spend many weary, hungry months in captivity before being reunited with his family at Christmas 1918. (Ref: Newbattle at War website # Clayton also asks after a George Osborne.

We presume that the Laloki Mine is part of the Astrolabe mineral field near Port Moresby, a massive copper mine that ran from 1907 to 1926 at the Laloki and Dubuna Mines and transported by light rail and aerial ropeway to a smelter near the Tahira Inlet wharf. (Geology & Mining Potential of New Guinea by Wiliamson and Hancock, 2005).

2 pp, 8x10", signed H. Edward Clayton. Old folds, very good condition overall. Item #20291

Price: $175.00

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