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Produce of the Goldfields

The Argus reported that prosperity in the goldfields of Victoria was surely ending as yields all over the colony were falling off. Had gold fever, reached its apex and died?

29 June 1853
Published Source
Australian National Dictionary Centre, The Gold Rushes and Australian English: a resource for researchers, teachers and students, Australian National University, 2005, http://www.anu.edu.au/andc/res/aus_words/gold/index.php. Details
This material is provided by the Australian National Dictionary Centre, a joint project of the Australian National University and Oxford University Press Australia.


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PRODUCE OF THE GOLD-FIELDS. To the Editor of the Argus. Sir,—I am very happy to observe, in to-day’s Argus, some hopes of the real state of the gold-diggings being at length fairly represented. This will, I trust, check the increase of the distress now, and for some time past, witnessed amongst the innumerable gold-seekers who have been induced to come to this colony, led away by the high colored accounts of "Our own correspondent," &c., and for which to a certain degree, the press is morally responsible. It is a notorious fact, and can be proved by figures, that the gold-fields have been gradually falling off in the yield of produce since October last. There were at that time about 80,000 persons, producing upwards of 110,000 ounces weekly; whereas at the present moment upwards of 120,000 persons scarcely produce 35,000 ounces (!) weekly, and even this amount is on the decline. Yet, in the very face of these results, the gold-fields are still represented in the most encouraging manner. I do not mean to say that a few more discoveries may not be made in different parts of the colony, which may afford a profitable occupation to a large number of industrious diggers for many years to come; but when we consider the scattered, and very superficial character of the gold-fields, the rapidity of their exhaustion, and the absence of any mines on which to fall back, I do maintain that there is nothing to justify the extravagant estimates which have been, and are being, made of the extent and permanency of the metallic wealth of this colony. All the intelligent diggers, and agents of the respective gold-fields, will bear out and confirm my views on this point; and I am sorry for the sake of thousands who are landing here daily, that the truth has been so long concealed, and now appears in all its startling nakedness. I am, Sir, Yours respectfully, EVAN HOPKINS. 27th. June. P.S.—The extravagance of the successful diggers are things of the past: great prizes are getting scarce, and in a very short time these gold-fields will be brought to the ordinary level of all gold-producing countries.— E.H. [The game having been fairly worried and all the choicest portions consumed, it is evident that it is quite time to beat off the dogs that ran it down, and have greedily devoured the best of it, and to make over the carcass to the sly, keen-sighted old hawk, which has sat quietly upon his perch, and waited so patiently for his turn. Mr. Hopkins proves most satisfactorily that the gold-fields of Victoria are unmistakeably done for, and nothing appears left for it now but to make them over forthwith to any enterprising mining company which will take them for fifty years at a pepper-corn rent.— Ed. A. ] Argus,29 June 1853