Page images
PDF
EPUB

The silver extracted in the 37 districts of mines, into which the kingdom of New Spain is divided, is deposited in the Provincial Treasuries, established in the chief places of the Intendancies; and it is from the receipts of these caras reales that we are to judge of the quantity of silver furnished by the different parts of the country. The following is an account of the receipts of 11 Provincial Treasuries.

From 1785 to 1789, there was received in the Caxas Reales of

Marcs of Silver.

Guana.ruato - - - - - - 2,469,000
San Luis Potosi (Catorce, Charcas, San Luis
Potosi) - - - - - 1,515,000
Zacatecas (Zacatecas, Fresnillo, Sierra de Pinos) 1,205,000
Mexico (Tasco, Zacualpa, Zultepeque) 1,055,000
Durango (Chihuahua, Parral, Guarisamey,
Cosiguiriachi) - - - 922,000
Rosario (Rosario, Cosala, Copala, Alamos) - 668,000
Guadalaxara (Hostotipaquillo, Asientos de *
Ybarra) - - - - - 509,000
Pachuca (Real del Monte, Moran) - - 455,000
Bolaños - - - - - - - 364,000
Sombrerete - - - - - - 320,000
Zimapan (Zimapan, Doctor) - - - 248,000

Sum for five years, 9,730,000

That part of the Mexican mountains which at present contains the greatest quantity of silver, is contained between the parallels of 21 and 24; degrees. The celebrated mines of Guanaxuato are only distant in a straight line from those of San Luis Potosi 30 leagues: from San Luis Potosi to Zacatecas the distance is 34 leagues; from Zacatecas to Catorce 31, and from Catorce to Durango 74 leagues. It is remarkable enough that this metallick wealth of Mexico and Peru, should be placed at an almost equal distance in the two hemispheres from the equator. In the vast extent which separates the mines of Potosi and ha Paz from those of Mexico, there are no others, which throw into circulation a great mass of the precious metals, but Pasco and Chota. 'Advancing from the Cerro de Gualgayoc northwards, we find only the gold washed down at Choco, and in the province of Antioquia, and the recently discovered silver veins of Vega de Supia. It is the same with the Cordillera of the Andes, as with all the mountains of Europe, in which metals are very unequally distributed. The province of Quito, and the Eastern part of the kingdom of New Granada, from the 3’ ef South latitude, to the 7° of North latitude; the Isthmus of Panama, and the mountains of Guatimala, contain for a length of 600 leagues, vast extents of ground in which no vein has hitherto been wrought with any degree of success It would not, however, be accurate

to advance that these countries which have in a degree, been convulsed with volcanos are entirely destitute of gold and silver ore. Numerous metalliferous depositories may be concealed by the super-position of strata of basalt, amygdaloid, porphyry with greenstone base, and other rocks comprehended by geologists, under the general name of trappformation. With respect to the Mexican mines in particular, they may be considered as forming eight groups (Erz-refiere) which are almost all placed either on the ridge or on the Western slope of the Cordillera of Anahuac. The first of these groups is the most considerable in produce; it includes the contiguous districts of Guanaxuato, San Luis Potosi, Charcas, Catorce, Zacatecas, Asientos de Ybarra, Fresnillo, and Sombrerete. The mines situated to the West of the town of Durango, as well as those of the province of Cinaloa, belong to the second; for the mines of Guarisamey, Copala, Cosala, and Rosario are near enough to one another to be classed under the same geological division. The third group, the most northern of New Spain, is that of Parral, which comprehends the mines of Chihuahua and Cosiguiriachi. It extends from the 27° to the 29° of latitude. To the northnorth-east of Mexico, the Real del Monte or

Pachuca, and those of Zimapan, or the Doctor,
may be stiled the fourth and fifth groups.
Bolaños (in the Intendancy of Guadalaxara)
Tasco, and Oaxaca are the central points of
the sirth, seventh, and eighth groupes of mines
of New Spain. This general view is sufficient
to prove that this kingdom, like the antient
Continent, contains vast extents of country,
apparently almost totally destitute of metal-
liferous veins. No considerable operation has
been hitherto carried on in the Intendancies
of Puebla and Vera Cruz, or in the plains of
secondary formation, situated on the left bank
of the Rio del Norte, or in New Mexico.
The following table indicates not the re-
lative nealth, or unequal distribution of the
metals considered in a geographical point of
view, but the quantity of money which in the
present state of the mines is extracted from
the different parts of the kingdom of New
Spain. We have classed the mines according
to the order already laid down, indicating
the name of the chief place which is the
central point of the group, and the surface
of the country in which the different works
are to be found. Several groupes are natu-
rally divided into districts which form so many
subdivisions or particular systems.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

4th. Group (Group of la Biscaina) from

[ocr errors]

2nd. Group (Group
of Durango and So- Guarisamey
2800 }
( Batopilas

[ocr errors][merged small]

Real del Monte 25 { (Pachuca) : 120,000

7500 Zimapa 60,000

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »