What: The photo has this caption:
"Aerial Ropeway ???? ???? K. C. Rly"
An "aerial ropeway" is what we call a cable car today. I can't read the next two words, but "K. C. Rly" means the Kowloon-Canton Railway, commonly known as the KCR.
Where: We know there was a ropeway in operation near Beacon Hill, while the Beacon Hill Tunnel was being dug. It transported miners between their camp and the site. 
When: Here's a timeline for work on that tunnel:
- January 1907: Work started, with two teams digging simultaneously from the north and south entrances. 
- 17 May 1909: The north and south tunnels were joined. 
- 9 May 1910: The governor "laid the last brick in the Beaconhill [sic.] Tunnel". 
The ropeway was in use during the construction phase, so I'll guess the photo was taken in 1908.
Who: I believe these are two of the Italian miners who worked on the project. 
Initially all the senior miners had been brought out from Britain, but that wasn't very successful. The report on progress for 1908 says:
"It was found difficult to obtain good foremen: those sent out from Home though they knew their work well were often troublesome to deal with. The cost of getting them out from Home made it possible for them to behave very badly before they could be dismissed and they in many cases took full advantage of this." 
A group of Italian workers were then employed. They'd recently finished working on a railway construction project in Yunnan province, southern China. It meant they had the relevant experience, and didn't need to be brought out from Europe.
They were praised in the speeches that followed the celebrations of the tunnel breakthrough :
"[...] Mr. Waite proposed a toast to the miners. He had never worked with a better lot of men, he said, men who knew their work, and did it well. He did not speak of the British miners alone, but also of the Italians whose expertness in machine drill work, if equalled, could not be excelled."
They probably should have stopped there, but after "a jolly tiffin", Mr Eves also took a turn:
"Many English people think that Italians are a dangerous sort of people to meet as they think they always have a knife somewhere concealed about them ready to stick into one, but I can contradict this most flatly. A more law abiding and quiet set of men than Mr. Ghella  and his fellow men here I think could not be found anywhere."
The knife references were overlooked, and Comm. Volpicelli (Italian Consul in Hong Kong) gave a short speech of thanks, ending by:
"[calling] upon the Italians present to charge their glasses and drink the health of the railway staff. The toast was honoured with many 'vivas', and as the toasters resumed their seats the store rang with loud applause."
If you know can tell us any more about this ropeway or the miners, please let us know in the comments below.
And I'm sure I've read a contemporary account of the KCR construction project which gave more detail of the ropeway and camp. But... I can't find where I've saved it, or find it again on the web. It wasn't an article in the newspapers or one of the Hong Kong government's annual reports. I think it was in an engineering publication. Can anyone point me in the right direction?
Thanks & regards,
- Beacon Hill Aerial Ropeway
- Hong Kong Weekly Post, 24 May 1909, pages 10-12
- China Mail, 11 Feb 1910, page 4
- Report on the Kowloon-Canton Railway (British Section)
- I notice that Ghella is an Italian company that still lists tunneling as one of its specialities. Their website lists the Beacon Hill Tunnel (or 'Galleria della Collina Beacon') as one of their projects, and also has a document with a few notes and photographs of the project.