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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
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,