[Read before the Auckland Institute, 11th October, 1875.]
In bringing this subject before the Institute, it is not so much with the idea of entering into the chemistry of the subject as to show the absurdity of importing every year, as we do, enormous quantities of coal at a very large cost to the Colony, when we already have in the Colony a superior article to that imported.
With this object in view I will, in the first place, mention that, during the year 1873, there was imported into New Zealand no less than 108,203 ¼ tons of coal; valued at £187,833; and, in 1874, 128,719 tons, valued at £211,081. Now, it will be at once seen, what a vast benefit it would prove if this large sum of money could be retained in the colony.
I will now show, that we have in the province of Auckland a very superior class of coals. For the sake of comparison, I will in the first place, give the analysis of the two coals principally used in Auckland—namely, the Bay of Island and the Newcastle coals:—
[The section below cannot be correctly rendered as it contains complex formatting. See the image of the page for a more accurate rendering.]
|Bay of Islands.||Newcastle.|
|Volatile and organic matter||29.94||24.80|
The valuable or heat-giving substances in a coal are the volatile or tarry matter and the fixed carbon. Now, on adding together the volatile matter and fixed carbon in the above, the Bay of Islands will give 91.14, and the Newcastle 93.4 per cent. of heat-giving substances, shewing that the latter has slightly the advantage. But the difference is so small that it would hardly be noticed in ordinary use.
The coal to which I have referred as being superior to that imported, is found on Mr. Frater's land at Whareori, near Whangarei, and of which the following is the analysis:—