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Annual produce of the Mines of the New
Continent, at the beginning of the 19th century.
New Spain 7,000 1,609 2,338,220 537,51223,000,000 Viceroyalty of Peru
3,400 782 611,090 140,478 6,240,000 Capitania General of Chili 12,212 2,807)
29,700 6,827 2,060,000 Viceroyalty of Buenos Ay
2,200 506) 481,830 110,764 4,850,000 Viceroyalty of
2,990,000 Brasil 20,900 6,873
Total 75,217 17,291|3,460,840 795,581 43,500,000 The total produce of the mines of the New World consequently amounts at this day to 17,000 kilogrammes of gold", and 800,000 kilogrammes of silvert, reckoning the mark of Castile, by which the produce of the mines in the Spanish colonies is estimated, to the marc of Francef in the proportion of 541 to 576, and the kilogramme at 4
* 45,580lb. troy. Trans.
marcs, 5 gross, 35.15 grains, old French weight. The tin furnished by all Europe weighs only three times as much as the quantity of silver annually extracted from the mines of America. It may be seen also from the preceding table, that it is erroneous to attribute to Brasil the greatest part of the gold with which the Old Continent is supplied by the New.' The Spanish colonies supply nearly 45,000 marcs of gold, while only 30,000 are extracted from the alluvial regions of Brasil. If the government of Santa Fe de Bogota begin seriously to turn its attention to the population and agriculture of Choco, the extraction of gold in New Grenada will in a very few years rival that of Brasil. The author of the immortal work on the Wealth of Nations*, values the quantity of gold and silver annually imported into Cadiz and Lisbon at only six millions of pounds sterling, including not only the registered gold, but also what may be supposed to be smuggled. This estimate is too small by two-fifths.
Bringing together the results which we have just obtained for the New World, with
* According to Meggens (Postscriptum du Negociant Universel, 1756, p. 15.) the importation into Spain and Portugal was from 1747 to 1753 at an average 5,746,000 pounds sterling.
those which are the fruit of the laborious researches of M. Heron de Villefosse and M. Georgi*, we find the following data :
* Geo. phys. Beschreibung des Russischen Reichs, 1797, Th. 6. p. 368. M. Georgi's valuation is for the year 1796. The produce of the mines of Koliwan has doubled, and that of the mines of Nertschink has diminished more than a third between 1784 and 1794.
Annual produce of the Gold and Silver Mines of Europe, Northern Asia,
Europe Northern Asia America
5,300 1,297 4,467,444 215,200 52,670 11,704,444 16,171,888 2,2031 5381 1,853,111 88,700 21,709
4,824,2226,677,333 70,647 17,291 59557 889 3,250,547 795,581 176,795,778 236,353,667
78,147 19,126 65,878,444/3,554,447 869,960 193,324,444 259,202,888
In this table the gold is valued at 3444 francs 44 centimes, and the silver at 222 francs 22 centimes per kilogramme. It in dicates the quantity of the precious metals which annually enters into circulation among the civilized nations of Europe. It is impossible to value the mass of gold and silver at present worked on the whole surface of the globe ;
are absolutely ignorant of what is produced in the interior of Africa, in Central Asia, Tonquin, China, and Japan. The trade in gold dust, carried on on the eastern and western coasts of Africa, and the information derived by us from the antients respecting the countries with which we have no longer any communication, might lead us to suppose that the countries to the south of the Niger are very rich in precious metals. We may make the same supposition respecting the high chain of mountains extending to the north-east of the Paropamisus towards the frontiers of China. The quantity of ingots of gold and silver formerly exported by the Dutch from Japan, proves, that the mines of Sado, Sourouma, Bingo, and Kinsima, are equal in wealth to several of the mines of America.
Of the 78,000 marcs of gold, and 3,550,000 marcs of silver, French weight, annually extracted since the end of the 18th century,