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348 POLITICAL Essav on "rm; [noox IV.
small grained’ galena, quartz, carbonate of
lime, accompany "the ‘native ~si.lver. - These
mines are situated in the partido of Arica,
near the small port of ‘Yquique*, in a desert
entirely destitute of/water. Alproject has long
been entertained of carrying fresh water to it,
for the use of the men and cattle; and water
from the sea for the amalgamation works.
In 1758 and 1789, two pepitas of massive silver
were discovered in the mines of Coronel and
Loysa, the one weighing eight and the other
two quintals. - T -~ ’

The little elevation of the mine of Huan-
tajaya, on the shore of the Pacific Ocean, forms
a singular contrast with the summit of the Cerro
de _Gualgayoc, where, at a height of 4080
metresi‘, the masses of vitreous silver are found;
and it proves the vagueness of the systematical'
ideas advanced by celebratedrgeologists, relative
to the distribution of the metals according to
the variety of climates and latitudes. Ulloa,
after travelling over a great part of the Andes,
aflirms that silver is peculiar to the high table
lands of the Cordilleras, called Punas or Ba-
ramos; and that gold on the other hand abounds

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gions *,; but this learned traveller appears to have forgot, that in Peruthe richest provinces in gold are they partidos of Pataz and Huailas, which are on the ridge of the Cordilleras. The Incas _drew immense quantities of gold from the plains of Curimayo to the north-east of the town of Caxamarca, at more than 8,-1100 metres 1‘ of elevation. . It has also been extracted from the right bank of the Rio de Micuipampa, between the Cerro de San Jose, and the plain called by the natives Choropampa, or plain ¢y“skells, on account of anj enormous quantity of oysters, cardia, and other petrifications of marine shells, contained invthe formation of alpine limestone of Gualgayoc. Considerable masses of gold have been found there, disseminated in branches and _f;i_l_a_r_nents, in veins of red and vitreous silver, at

morelthan 4.<O00 metres of elevatipn aboygp _the

level of the oceanff As to "tbs alluvial ground

in which the gold stream-works of Choco are es

tablished, and those of la Soiiora and Brazil, are

we to be surprised to_ find them rather at the

bottom than on thesummits of mountains l? -If
tin § appears an exception to this law of nature,

'* Ulloa, Noticias Americanas. 1772, p; 223 and 236.

-\~ 11,154.?feet. Trans. I I . A

1 12,122 feet. Trans. I I ' I

§ _For instance, the tin of the stream-works ( Wasch-z/inn), on the summit of the Fichtelgebirge. Y ~ =_ A

I

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it is undoubtedly because the granitic beds,
in which it was originally contained, have
been decomposed in their place.

The process of amalgamation of silver minerals followed in Peru, since 1571, is the same as that which is used in Mexico. In the two countries the sc/zlich is manufactured according to the rules prescribed by Medina, Barba, Corso de Leca and Corrosegarra ; but, generally speaking, amalgamation is practised with more care and intelligenceby the Mexican miners at Guanaxuato and Zacatecas, than by the miners of Peru. In New Spain the expence of amalgamation is generally estimated at 87 piastres 4- reals for one hundred quintals of minerals, containing four ounces of silver per quintal, of which sum, 25 piastres

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Iggigfifis produce fiftg margs of silver, ' ,
accor ing to t e common price of silver“
at the mines, are worth 862 piastres, it follows
that the expence of amalgamation amounts
nearly to 24 per cent. of the value of the

silver. But in Peru, where the mercury of

* At 7 piastres, 2 reals. Garces, p. 14-4:. In the beginning of the seventeenth century, the expences of amalgamation at Potosi, for a caxon of ore weighing 5 quintals, and containing 20 marcs of silver, were only estimated at 30 piastres, or 20 per cent. although the pound of mercury cost a piastre. Barba, p. 118.

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Huancavelica is generally sold for 60 or 70
piastres the quintal ', the expences amount, in
several districts of mines, to 30 or 38 per cent.
At the Cerro de Gualgayoc for example, where
the price of labour is from three to four reals
(from L0 to 50 sous) per day, a load of schlich,
containing from two to three marcs of silver,
costs seven piastres in the process of amalgam-
ation, viz.

Reals of silver,

In roasting {wood I I I I I 8

labour - - - - 2

' _ Muriate of Soda - - - - - - 6
Lime - - - - - - - - 4-

Labour in treading the schlich - - - 12
Consumption of mercury - - - - 24

-- Total 56

Qfluring my stay in the Cordillera of the
Andes, there were only two districts of mines
where the method of M. de Born, of amalgam-
ation in caslcs, was followed with any degree of
success, namely, the Real de Requay, in the
province of Huailas, and Tallenga, in the pro-
vince of Caxatambo.l' To_ judge of the con-
siderable loss of silver annually experienced in

* ’Cmnp0manes,riela-edumcian popular, T. ii. p.132. '
1- The mines near Requay, where a German amalgamation
work has been constructed, is called Ticapamba, and belongs

to Don Juan Ignacio Gamio. The work of Tallenga was
established by Don Juan Baptista Arieta. '

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Peru from the ignorance of the amalgamators,‘
it is enough to mention the simple fact that it
daily happens that an azoguero extracts 15
marcs per cawon, from the same mineral, out of
which, hitherto, there has never been extracted
more than ten or twelve marcs. In the years
which immediately succeeded the discovery of
the mines of Yauricocha, they only wrought the
pacos or oxides of iron, mixed with native silver,
and muriate of silver. The prismatic black
silver, and the argentiferous grey copper, were
thrown among the rubbish. In the same man-
ner, on building the small town of Micuipampa,
walls were constructed of very rich pieces of
gangue, and those minerals only which were of
a yellowish brown, or of an earthy appearance,
like the pacos, were considered as containing
silver._ These facts will not appear so sur-
prising, when we consider that not more than
forty ,years ago, in one of the most civilized
co'untries_of Europe, calamine was employed i11
the making of roads, without its being per-
ceived that this substance, which was soiled with
clay, contained zinc.

II. The Precidentia, or Capitania general
of Chili, produces annually, in gold and silver,

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