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bottom of the mine or at the planes of San Bernardo. This pit which will be in the centre of the works, will considerably diminish the number of the 980 miners (tenateros) employed as beasts of burden to carry the minerals to the upper places of assemblage. The tiro general which will cost more than a million of piastres * is octagonal and contains 26". 8 of circumference'. Its walling is most beautiful. It is believed that they will reach the vein in 1815, although in the month of September 1803 the depth was not yet more than 184 metres f. The piercing of this pit is one of the greatest and boldest undertakings to be found in the history of mines. It may be questioned, however, whether for the sake of diminishing the expences of carriage and draught, it was expedient to recur to a remedy which is at once slow, expensive, and uncertain.
(See Vol. ii. p. 165). In that country they consider the mines of Valenciana the deepest ever dug by man. At the period when I measured the planes of San Bernardo, the mine of Berchert Glück, at Freiberg in Saxony had Teached 447 metres of perpendicular depth (1465 feet Trans.) It is believed that in the sixteenth century the works of the Saxon mines on the vein Alter Thurmhof went as far as 545 feet in depth (1787 feet. Trans.), Author.
* £218,767 Sterling. + 87 feet. Trans. $ 603 feet. Trans.
The expences of working the mine of Valenciana have been on an average annually :
Piastres From 1787 to 1791 . . . . 410,000* From 1794 to 1802 . . . 6 890,000 +
Although the expences are doubled, the profits of the share-holders have remained nearly the same. The following table contains an exact statef of the mine for the last nine years.
* £89,694 Sterling. Trans. + £194,708 Sterling.
$ Estado que manifiesta el valor de los frutos que ha producido la mina de Valenciana, costa de sus memorias y hiquido producto, a favor de sus duenos; lo presentò Dor Joseph Antonio del Maso al Excellentissimo Señor Virey de Nueva Espana Don Joseph de Yturigarray, el 3 de Julio 1803. (M. S.)
1282042 16966401815424 2128439 1724437 1584393 1480933 1394338 1229631 13835380
482713 880822 483077 1249650835702 668954 508619 401456285321 57913
The result of this table is, that the net profit of the share-holders, has been latterly at an average of 640,000 piastres per annum.* In 1802 circumstances were extremely unfavourable. The greater part of the minerals were very poor, and their extraction attended with great expence; and besides this, the produce was sold at very low prices, because the want of mercury impeded the amalgamation, and all the mines were incumbered with minerals. The year 1803 promised greater advantages to the proprietors, and they reckoned on a nett profit of more than half a million of piastrest. I saw thèm sell weekly at Valenciana, silver minerals to the amount of more than 27,000 piastres : The expençes amounted to 17,000. At Rayas, the profit of the proprietor was greater, though the produce was less; for this mine furnished more than 15,000 piastres of minerals weekly, while the expence of working only amounted to 4000 piastres. This was the effect of the richness of the minerals, their concentration in the vein, the inconsiderable depth of the mine, and consequently a less expensive draught.
* Above 3,360,000 livres tournois (£140,011 sterling. Trans.) The profit distributed annually among the shareholders of the district of Freiberg, only amounts to 250,000 livres (€10,417 Sterling. Trans.)
+ £109,383 Sterling. Trahts.
· To form an idea of the enormous advances required in working the mine of Valenciana, it is sufficient here to mention, that in its present state, there must be laid out annually,
(In wages of miners, triers, masons, :3 and other workmen employed in
In powder, tallow, wood, leather,
steel, and other materials necessary in mining.
Total expence 4,500,000* · The consumption of powder alone has amounted to 400,000 livres annuallyt; and that of the steel destined to the making of pointroles and fleurets to 150,000 livres, The number of workmen who labour in the interior of the mine of Valenciana amounts to 1800. Adding '1300 individuals (men, women, and children) who labour at the baridels a chevaux, in the carriage of minerals to the places where they are tried, we shall find three thousand one hundred india viduals are employed in the different operations of the mine. The direction of the mine is entrusted to an administrator with a salary of 60,000$ francs. This administrator, who is
* £187,515 Sterling. Trans.