« السابقةمتابعة »
the nearest for the embarkation of the coals impracticable for boats drawing more than seventeen inches; in this part of the river the coals will therefore probably be transported upon rafts of bamboos. After the confluence of the higher and lesser Tenasserim the river increases considerably in depth.
Captain R. Lloyd surveying the lower part of the river last year, was of opinion that vessels of 100 tons burthen might go up to Tenasserim town, but thinks it advisable to employ only vessels of a much smaller size.
Prospect of other localities nearer to the sea-coast.
It is very probable, judging from the formations, that the same field extends some twenty miles lower down the river, and that beds may be found still nearer the banks of the river; but under present circumstances the transport twenty miles more or less by water is scarcely of any consequence; experimental researches therefore would, besides being very expensive, prove precarious.
The existing formations (as far as they are known) to the west, and those in a parallel line on the sea-coast, preclude the hope of coal being found there.
Last year, in, March, when I first visited the banks of the TenasHistory of serim, I was struck, in coming to its lower part, with the this discovery. sudden change of the geognostic features of the country. The river instead of running for many miles through a mountainous country, its narrow bed inclosed between piles of granular talcose limestone, graywacke, greenstone, and transition porphyry, burst at once into an open country, the ridges of the above mentioned formations receding on both sides, and I found what I had missed for a long time— secondary formations; and what I desired the most-formations belonging to the great independent coal deposits. Having given up all hope of finding coal in the parts of the Tenasserim provinces hitherto visited, I was at once animated with strong hope of success at the sight of these promising features.
The consequence proved this time, in a conspicuous manner, the truth and exactness of geognostic principles, and I found successively three localities of coal, mentioned in my last year's report sub: N. A. B. A. C. of which specimens were sent up to Calcutta. However the coal then found was all of indifferent quality, and, besides, not favourably situated; the excellent coal discovered afterwards on the little Tenasserim belongs to quite a different system.
Convinced however of the existence of coal over a wide extent of that district, in fact expecting that the above mentioned plain through which the Tenasserim runs is a segment of a great coal basin, I
stimulated the Careans, the only inhabitants of that part of the country, to be assiduous in finding coal. I gave them samples of that mineral, which scarcely any one of them had seen before, and taught them to look for it in the beds of mountain torrents, on steep banks of rapid rivers, on parts of mountains or hills detached by the violence of the monsoon, &c., for they had generally imbibed the erroneous opinion that coal is only found on the summits of high mountains which formerly were in a state of combustion, and that coal is a species of cooled lava.
Fearing however that their natural apathy might prevent them from any exertion, I promised a reward of 50 Rs. to be given to any body who found coal of good quality not far from a river.
By a rather extraordinary coincidence, the present coal was found but a thousand yards distant from the place where I made the promise of the reward, and in the same village, the inhabitants of which accompanied me for three days in search after coal in the surrounding jungles.
A Carean of that village of the name of Ka-pho, penetrating two months and a half ago the thick forests in search of good ground for a plantation, came upon a small rivulet, and found coal partly at its bottom, partly protruding from its banks.
My lesson, but much more, undoubtedly, the prospect of the Fifty Rupees' reward, seemed not to have been forgotten. He took some pieces home, and kept them hidden for several weeks, not knowing if they were really coal, for the pieces which I distributed among the Careans were Burdwan coal of a different aspect. He consulted a friend afterwards, who advised him to go to Mergui and show the coal to me, but being apprized that I was absent (examining the Mergui Archipelago) the visit to Mergui was postponed.
a month afterwards a Burmese, of the name of Kho-baik, saw the specimens of coal by accident in a basket; he possessed himself of a piece, and hastened with it to Mergui to claim the reward for himself; he shewed it to the Assistant of the Commissioner in Mergui, and in this way the coal was brought to public notice.
MERGUI, 9th May, 1839.
J. W. HELFER, M. D.
No. 2.-Report on the new Tenasserim Coal Field.-By LIEut. HUTCHINSON, Madras Artillery.
To E. A. BLUNDELL, ESQ. Commissioner, Tenasserim Provinces. SIR,-Having visited the coal field lately discovered upon the large branch of the Tenasserim river, I do myself the honor to forward a Chart of the river from the Coal to Mergui, and beg to offer some remarks for your consideration.
The coal is situated in north lat. 12° 21′ 30′′, and longitude about 99° 5' east, distant twenty-nine miles, by the course of the river, from Tenasserim, or about sixty-five miles from Mergui; the distance in a direct line from Mergui is about twenty-eight miles in a west by south direction.
A small stream passes through the upper part of the coal bed, exposing part of a thick stratum of coal covered by three feet of clay slate, and from twenty to forty feet of sand.
The sand may be removed easily with any tool, but at the same time is so tenacious as to require no propping where springs do not exist, and the slate being only three feet thick shafts may be sunk with celerity and ease,
Whether the galleries will require propping is doubtful; but if so, abundance of timber for the purpose exists upon the spot.
Springs will certainly be met with at the level of the slate, but this must always be expected in a coal mine.
The Nulla is quite unfit for the conveyance of coal to the river, but, a level line of road may be formed with little expense.
The coal is distant from the river about one mile.
The river may be ascended during the fine weather with an ordinary number of men to each boat, but the water is upwards of twenty feet higher during the rainy season, and it appears doubtful whether proper boats could be got up during that time, at any rate without the assistance of steam, or some adequate power.
The shallowest water at this time of the year (when it is lowest) is eighteen inches. The river is therefore navigable for boats drawing nine or twelve inches, and of thirty feet in length by ten in breadth, capable of carrying six or seven and a half tons.
Allowing one man to every ton of coal, four days will be required to bring the coal down to Mergui, and at least five to return with the boats; making the expense of actual transport one man's hire for nine days, or three Rupees per ton, exclusive of its carriage from the mine to the river.
Referring to the Chart, the question presents itself whether a line for a road could not be formed from the coal to some point near to the place called Peagune. The country between this and Tenasserim is