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The year

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. 1803 promised greater advantages to the proprietors, and they reckoned on a net profit of more than half a million of piastres. † 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. (140,0111. sterling. Trans.) The profit distributed annually among the shareholders of the district of Freiberg only, amounts to 250,000 livres. (10,4171. Sterling. Trans.)

+ 109,3831. 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,


In wages of miners, triers, masons,

and other workmen employed-in 3,400,000

the mine.

In powder, tallow, wood, leather, 1,100,000

steel, and other materials neces

sary in mining Total expence 4,500,000 *

The consumption of powder alone has amounted to 400,000 livres annually t; and that of the steel destined to the making of pointroles and fleurets to 150,000 livres. I 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 chevaux, 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 60,000 S francs, through whose hands upwards of six millions of francs annually pass. This

* 187,5151. Sterling. Trans.
+ 16,6681. Sterling. Trans.
1 62501. Sterling. Trans.
§ 25001. Sterlivg. 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 t, 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 nien's backs, see my Vues de Cordillères. Pl. v.

t. 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. Duubuisson, t. iii. p. 6-45.

Comparative table of the mines of America

and Europe.

[blocks in formation]

Ithe sea.


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. Mines. century

At the surface, 2320 At the surface, 410 metres above the level of metres above the level of

che sea. Metallic pro

360,000 marcs of 10,000 marcs of sil.

of} duce


ver Total expences of 5,000,000 livres 240,000 livres Tour

} the mine


} 240.000 livres TourNet profit afer she } 3,000,000, livres 90,000 livres The quintal of ores

From 6 to 7 contains in sil 4 ounces

ounces silver ver

-3100 Indians and Number of work-Mestizoes, 1800 of 700 miners, of whom

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 ners


400,000 livres 27,000 livres TourExpence of powder Tournois (near nois (nearly 270

ly1600 quintals) quintals) Quantity of ores smelted and

720,000 quintals 14,000 quintals amalgamated

A vein frequent- 7

ly divides into | Five principal

thin branches veins, from two Veins

of from 40 to to three decime-
50 metres of tres of extent (in
extent (in clay gneiss)

Eight cubic feet
No water


minute. Two

hydraulic wheels Depth of the mine 514 metres

330 metres



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