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THE "HE method of classification adopted in the first Review of
Mineral Production published in these Records (Vol. XXXII, 1905), although admittedly not entirely satisfactory, is still the best that can be devised under present conditions. As the methods of collecting the returns become more precise, and the machinery employed for the purpose more efficient, the number of minerals included in Class I--for which approximately trustworthy annual returns are available-increases, and it is hoped that the minerals of Class II --for which regularly recurring and full particulars cannot be procured-will in time be reduced to a very small number. In the case of minerals still exploited chiefly by primitive Indian methods and thus forming the basis of an industry carried on by a large number of persons each working independently and on very small scale, the collection of reliable statistics is impossible ; the total error from year to year, however, is characterised by some degree of constancy, and the figures obtained may be accepted as a fairly reliable index to the general trend of the industry. In the case of gold, the small indigenous alluvial industry contributes such an insignificant portion to the total outturn that the error from this source may be regarded as negligible.
Since the figures of mineral production published in these Reviews are in many cases greater than those published in the Annual Returns of the Chief Inspector of Mines, it is desirable to explain that the figures published by the Chief Inspector of Mines are confined to mines and workings that come under the Mines Act, which relates only to British India; whereas the figures published in these Reviews include the production of both Act and non-Act