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follows the direction of the metalliferous bed, for the two others were cut in the solid rock. The Socabon de Belem, the most useful of all these different works, is 625 yaras in length, and cuts the mineral repository at the depth of 172 varas below the summit of the mountain of Santa Barbara. The gallery of San Xavier, finished in 1732, is 112 varas above the Socabon of Belem. All these galleries, which have cost immense sums, because they are more than five varas in breadth *, are merely for ventilation and interior conveyance; for the mine is absolutely free from water.
There has been extracted † from the great mine of Huancavelica, between 1570 and 1789, the sum of 1,040,452 quintals of mercury #; viz. From 1570 to 1576 9,137 quintals. 1576 1586
* More than 13 feet. Trans.
† Noticias sobre la mina de Huancavelica, (M. S. note of M. Mothes.)
$ 136,573,162 lb. Troy. Trans.
From 1646 to 1648 20,460 quintals.
1648 1650 8,342
1651 1666 109,120 According to this table, the quantity of mercury extracted from the great mine of Huan. cavelica, amounted, in the first 96 years, to the sum of 523,472 quintals. There has been obtained in the following periods, From 1667 to 1672 49,026 quintals.
1673 to 1683 60,000 We find no mention in the archives of the treasury, of the produce of the mine between 1684 and 1713; but it was From 1713 to 1724 41,283 quintals.
1725 1736 38,882
1737 1748 65,426 From these data, it appears that the mine has generally yielded from four to six thousand quintals of mercury per annum, In the most abundant years, between 1586 and 1589, the produce amounted to 10,500 quintals.
Besides the cinnabar which is contained in the bed of quartzy sandstone, of the Cerro de Santa Barbara de Huancavelica, there is also some in this same part of the Cordilleras, especially near Sillacasa, in small veins which traverse the alpine limestone (alpenkalkstein); but these veins, which are frequently full of calcedony, do not follow regular directions ; they cross and drag frequently, and form nests
or metallic depots. For these fifteen years, all the mercury which Huancavelica supplies to the miners of Peru, is derived from these last mineral depositories, the metalliferous bed (erzflöz) of the great mine of Santa Barbara, having been completely abandoned, owing to the falling in which took place in the pertinencia of the Brocal. Avarice and carelessness were the cause of this unfortunate accident. So early as 1780, the directors of the mine - had difficulty in furnishing the quantity of mercury required, for the continually increasing wants of the Peruvian amalgamation.
The deeper the works became, the cinnabar grew also more impure, and mixed with sulphuret of arsenic. As the bed forms a mass of an extraordinary volume, it could only be worked by longitudinal and transversal + galleries. To support the roof, pillars were left from distance to distance, as is practised in the coal and salt mines. An intendant of Huancavelica, a lawyer, and a praise-worthy man in' other respects for his knowledge and integrity, had the temerity to remove these pillars to increase the produce of the mine. This operation had the effect which every intelligent miner might have easily predicted; the rock, deprived of support,
* Nidos, bolsas y clavos (Zusammen-scharende Trümmer). + In quer und pfeiler-bau.
yielded to the pressure ; the roof tumbled in, and as this falling in took place in the greater part of the upper pertinencia, that of the Brocal, the works in the two inferior pertinencias, Comedio, and Cochapata, were also obliged to be given up.
The master miners accused the intendant, of having removed the pillars to ingratiate himself with the Court of Madrid, by procuring in a very few years a great quantity of mercury. The intendant on his part affirmed that he had acted altogether with the consent of the master miners, who thought the pillars might be replaced by heaps of rubbish. Instead of taking a decisive part, and working the metalliferous bed in other points, they lost eight years in sending from time to time commissaries to the spot to carry on a lawsuit, and dispute about vain formalities. When I left Lima, they were waiting for a decision of the Court; the great mine was shut up; but they had given free permission to the Indians from 1795, to work the cinnabar veins which traverse the alpine limestone between Huancavelica and Sillacasa. The annual produce of these petty operations, amounted to 3200 or 3500 quintals. As by law, all the mercury must be delivered into the treasury (caxas reales) of Huancavelica, I shall give from the account books the produce between 1790 and 1800.
2021 quintals 37 pounds.
83 It has been asked whether in the present state of things it would be prudent to clear out the old works of the great mine *, or if they ought to engage in new trials. From the memoirs drawn up by the Baron de Nordenflycht, it appears to be absolutely false that the mine of Santa Barbara was exhausted when they were so imprudent as to remove the pillars. In the pertinencia de Cochapata, at 228 varas of depth, cinnabar ores have been found, equally rich with those of the Brocal; but as for ages, the works have been under the direction of ignorant men, destitute of all knowledge of subterraneous geometry, they have given the
* Before the year 1795, seven thousand alpacas and llamas led and governed by intelligent dogs carried the mercurial ores from the Cerro De Santa Barbara, to the furnaces supplied with aludel, which are situated near the town of Huancavelica,