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Produce of
the sale of
the minerals
of Valencia-
na (in pias-











of working
(in piastres),











Net profit
divided a-
mong the
ers (in pias-











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The result of this table is, that the net profit of the share-holders has been latterly at an average of 640,000 piastres per annum." In 1802 circumstances were extremely unfavourable. The greater part of the ores were very poor, and their extraction attended with great expence; and besides this, the produce was sold at very low prices, because the want of mercury impeded the amalgamation, and all the mines were incumbered with ores. The year 1803 promised greater advantages to the proprietors, and they reckoned on a net profit of more than half a million of piastres, t I saw them sell weekly at Valenciana, silver ores to the amount of more than 27,000 piastres: the expences amounted to 17,000. At Rayas, the profit of the proprietor was greater, though the produce was less; for this mine furnished more than 15,000 piastres of ores weekly, while the expence of working only amounted to 4000 piastres. This was the effect of the richness of the ores, their concentration in the vein, the inconsiderable depth of the mine, and consequently a less expensive draught.


* Above 3,360,000 livres tournois. (140,011 l. sterling. Trans.) The profit distributed annually among the shareholders of the district of Freiberg only, amounts to 250,000 livres. (10,417 l. Sterling. Trans.) + 109,383l. Sterling. Trans.

To form an idea of the enormous advances required in working the mine of Valenciana, it is sufficient here to mention, that in its present state there must be laid out annually,

s Livres.

3.03 and other workmen employed in

In wages of miners, triers, masons, the mine.

steel, and other materials neces

In powder, tallow, wood, leather, J, 100,000 sary in mining.

Total expence 4,500,000 *

The consumption of powder alone has amounted to 400,000 livres annually f; and that of the steel destined to the making of point. roles and fleurets to 150,000 livres. # , The number of workmen who labour in the interior of the mine of Valenciana amounts to 1800. Adding 1300 individuals (men, women, and children). who labour at the baritels a chevaua, in the carriage of ores to the places where they are tried, we shall find three thousand one hundred individuals are employed in the different operations of the mine. The direction of the mine is entrusted to an administrator with a salary of 60,000 $ francs, through whose hands upwards of six millions of francs annually pass. This

* 187,515l. Sterling. Trans. + 16,668l. Sterling. Trans. f 6250l. Sterling. Trans. § 25001. Sterling. Trans.

administrator, who is under the controul of no one, has under his orders an overseer (obersteiger, minero), the under overseers (untersteiger, sottomineros), and nine master miners (mandones). These head people daily visit the subterraneous operations, carried by men" who have a sort of a saddle fastened on their backs, and who go by the name of little horses (cavallitos). We shall conclude this account of the mine of Valenciana, with a comparative table of the state of this Mexican work, and of that of the celebrated mine of Himmelsfürst f, in the district of Freiberg. I flatter myself that this table will fix the attention of those who consider the study of the management of mines as an important object in political economy.

* For the extraordinary manner of travelling on men's backs, see my Vues de Cordillères. Pl. v. + Whatever relates to this mine (in the following table) which I have frequently had occasion to visit in 1791, is taken from the work of M. Daubuisson, t. iii. p. 6–45.

Comparative table of the mines of America and Europe.

America. Europe. Mine of Valenciana;|Mine of Himmelsfürst, Average year, at the the , richest of the the richest of the Saxon

end of the eighteenth Mexican Mines. ines. century. At the surface, 2320. At the surface, 410 metres above the level of metres above the level of the sea. the sea. Metallic pro- 360,000 marcs of 10,000 marcs of silduce - - silver ver Total expences of 5,000,000 livres }* livres Tourthe mine - - Tournois nois

Net profit of the share-holders

The quintal ofcres From 6 to 7 contains in sil- > 4 ounces ounces silver wer - -

} 3,000,000, livres 90,000 livres

3100 Indians and

Number of work- Mestizoes, 1800 of 700 miners, of whom

men - - whom are in the 550 are in the ininterior of the terior of the mine mine Wages of the mi-). From 4 to 6 livres } 18 Sous ners - - - Tournois

400,000 livres D 27,000 livres TourExpence of powder {; o nois (nearly 270 ly 1600quintals) quintals) Quantity of ores smelted and X-720,000 quintals 14,000 quintals amalgamated A vein frequent-l ly, divides into Five principal thin branches veins, from two Veins - - of from 40 to X to three decime50 metres of tres of extent (in extent (in clay gneiss) slate) Water No water per minute. Two hydraulic wheels Depth of the mine 514 metres 330 metres

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