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province of Chachapoyas, S. Thomas, Las Playas de Balzas, and the Pampas del Sacramento, between the Rio Guallaga and l’Ucajale; in the province of Guamachuco, the town of Guamachuco, (with the Reales de San Francisco, d’Angasmarca, and de la Mina Hedionda), Sogon, Sanagoran, San Jose, and Santiago de Chucu; in the province of Pataz, the town of Partaz, Vuldivuyo, Tayabamba, Soledad, and Chilia ; in the province of Conchucos, the town of Conchucos, Siguas, Tambillo, Pomapamba, Chacas, Guari, Chavin, Guanta, and Ruriquinchay; in the province of Huamalies, Guallanca; in the province of Caxatambo, Chanca, and the town of Caxatambo; in the province of Tarma, the Cerro de Yauricocha, (two leagues to the north of Pasco) Chaupimarca, Arenillapata, Santa Cathalina, Caya grande, Yanacanche, Santa Rosa, and the Cerro de Colquisirca ; in the province of Huarochiri*, Conchapata ; in the province of Huancavelica, San Juan de Lucanas ; and lastly, in the confines of the desert of Atacama, Huantajaya.
I have followed in this long enumeration the old division of Peru into provinces ; but since
* The mountains of Huarochiri and Canta contain excellent coal; but on account of the high price of carriage, they cannot be used at Lima. Cobalt and antimony have also been discovered at Huarochiri.
the frontier of the kingdom of Buenos-Ayres has been made to pass to the west of the lake of Chucuito, between the lake and the city of Cuzco, and since on the one hand the kingdom of Quito and the provinces of Jaen de Bracamoros and Maynas, and on the other the governinents of Paz, Oruro, Plata, and Potosi, have been separated from Peru, this last kingdom is divided into
intendancies, Truxillo, Tarma, Huancevalica, Lima, Guamanga, Arequissa, and Cuzco, of which each comprehends several departments or partidos.*
We can only arrive at false results when, as has been done in works of the greatest estimation, we compare the produce of the mines of old Peru, with that of the present Peru, which since the year 1778, includes within its limits neither the Cerro del Potosi nor the mines of Oruro and la Paz. The Peruvian gold partly comes from the provinces of Pataz † and Huailas, where it
* The old provinces of Pataz, Guamachuco, and Chachapoyas are now considered as partidos of the intendancy of Truxillo; and those of Caxatambo, Huailas, Conchucos, and Huamalies, belong to the intendancy of Tarma. The capitals of the seven intendancies are: Lima with 52,600 inhabitants ; Guamanga - with 26,000 ; Arequipa with 24,000 ; Truxillo with 5800; Huancavelica with 5200; Tarma with 5600 ; and Cuzco with 32,000. (Guia politica, ecclesiastica y militar del Vireynato del Peru, para el ano 1793, por Don Jose Hipolito Unanue).
† Among the five mining districts of the partido of
is extracted rom veins of quartz which traverse primitive rocks, and partly from stream works established on the banks of the Alto. Maranon, in the partido of Chachapoyas.
As in Mexico, almost the whole produce is derived from the mines of Guanaxuato, Catorce, Zacatecas, Real del Monte, and New Biscay, so in Peru nearly the whole silver is extracted from the great mines of Yauricocha or Lauricocha, (commonly called mines of Pasco and the Cerro de Bombon*) and those of Gualgayoc or Chota, and Huantajaya (pronounced Guanta-ha-ya).
The mines of Pasco, which are the worst wrought in all Spanish America, were discovered by Huari Capca, an Indian, in 1630; they annually furnish nearly two millions of piastres. To form a just idea of the enormous mass of silver which nature has deposited in the bowels of these calcareous mountains, at an elevation of more than four thousand metres (13 thousand feet) above the level of the ocean
Pataz which we named above, only that of Chilia furnishes silver.
* The high table land of the Cordilleras, on, which we find the small lake de los Reyes, to the south of the Cerro *de Yauricocha, is called the Pamba de Bombon.
We must not seek the position of Pasco on the map of La Cruz, but on the map of the Rio Huallaga, drawn up by Father Sobreviela, and published in 1791 by the Sociedad de los Amantes del pais de Lima.
we must bear in mind that the bed of argentiferous oxide of iron of Yauricocha has been wrought without interruption since the beginning of the seventeeth century, and that within the last twenty years more than five millions of marcs of silver have been extracted from it, while the greatest part of the pits are not more than thirty metres in depth, and none of them one hundred and twenty metres. The water, which is very abundant in these mines, is drawn off, not by hydraulic wheels or horse baritels as in Mexico, but by pumps moved by men, so that, notwithstanding the small depth of these miserable excavations, which go by the names of pits and galleries, the drawing off the water from the mines is excessively expensive. In the mine of La Luna, the expence amounted, a few years ago, to more than a thousand piastres per week. The mines of Yauricocha would supply the same quantity of silver as Guanaxuato, if they would but construct hydraulic machines or steam engines, for which they might make use of the turf of the lake of Giluacocha. The metalliferous bed (manto de plata) of Yauricocha appears at the surface for a length of 4800 metres * and a breadth of 2200 t. The following table, extracted from the books of the provincial trea
* 15,747 feet. Trans.
sury of Pasco, specifies the number and weight of the ingots of silver smelted at Pasco, between the
years 1792 and 1801.
It appears from this table that the produce of Pasco has almost never been below two hundred thousand marcs , and that it amounted in 1794 and 1801 nearly to the sum of three hundred thousand marks of silver. +
The mines of Gualgayoc and Micuipampa, commonly called Chota, which I had occasion to examine very minutely in 1802, were only discovered in 1771 by Don Rodriguez de
* 131,263lb. troy. Trans.