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place owes nothing else to the Pasco Peruvian Company, it owes it (at least) a debt of gratitude for the introduction of the grates. I found, however, very little comfort in them; for the houses are so open about the doors and windows, that while my toes were burning, my back was freezing; and one has to be constantly twisting round, like a roasting turkey, to get anything of their benefit. My companion, Ijurra, whose fathers were rich miners and powerful men in these parts, had many visitors. The talk of the company was of nothing but the mines, and incessant was the complaining (which I have heard elsewhere) of the miseries and uncertainties of the miner's life. All seem to agree that it is a sort of gambling, in which most lose; but there is the same sort of feverish infatuation in it that there is in gaming with cards, and the unlucky player cannot but persevere, in the hope that the luck will change, and that the boya, (striking the rich vein,) like "the bullets and bragger oldest," will come at last.

I went out with Mr. Jump to look at the town. It is a most curious looking place, entirely honey-combed, and having the mouths of mines (some two or three yards in diameter) gaping everywhere. From the top of the hill called Sta. Catalina, the best view is obtained of the whole. Vast pits, called "Tajos," surround this hill, from which many millions of silver have been taken; and the miners are still burrowing, like so many rabbits, in their bottoms and sides. I estimate that the tajo of Sta. Rosa is six hundred yards long, by four hundred broad and sixty deep; those of the "Descubridora" and are about half as large.

The hill of Sta. Catalina is penetrated in every direction; and I should not be surprised if it were to cave in any day, and bury many in its ruins. The falling in of mines is of frequent occurrence; that of "Mata-gente" (kill people) caved in years ago, and buried three hundred persons; and four days ago a mine fell in and buried five; four have been recovered, bnt one is still incarcerated, and the people are now hard at work for him. We visited a machine-shop, and the hacienda for grinding ores by steam, that Mr. Jump is erecting near the city. I should think the hacienda would be a good speculation; for the ores, which have now to be transported on the backs of mules and llamas for a distance of four, five, or six miles to the haciendas, may be taken to this by a railroad in a few minutes; and Mr. Jump believes that he shall have water enough for his boilers all the year; whereas the other haciendas cannot grind for more than three parts of the year. The cost of the machinery, which is cast in England, in parts equal to a mule-load, and transported from Lima on the backs of these animals; the pay of machine and

engine drivers; the digging of ditches for the supply of water; fuel; and all such expenses to which the other haciendas are not subject, I could not well calculate.

Mr. Fletcher, who has lived a long time in Cerro Pasco, says that a purchaser of the ores (making sure of his "guias" or experiments on the yield of the ore) can count his gains as easily and certainly as he can the dollars in his pocket; that those men who lose are either the lazy and the careless, or the speculators and lookers after rich ores, to make a fortune at once. The most common and easily obtained ores here are called "cascajos." They do not require roasting, as do the ores at Párac; but otherwise the silver is got out in the same manner as I have described it to be at that place. Instead, however, of the ground ore being placed in small piles, and, after being mixed with salt and mercury, trodden with the feet, and worked with hoes as it is at Párac, a large quantity is placed in a circular enclosure, with a stone floor and mud wall, and it is trodden with horses (as we used in old times to "tread wheat" in Virginia) until the amalgamation is completed. The general yield of the cascajos is six marks to the caxon. Their cost, according to the hardness of the rock in which they are enclosed, or their distance from the surface, is from six to sixteen dollars. Here is a calculation to show that, even at their highest price, of sixteen dollars, (being assured by the guia that the caxon will yield six marks,) their working, or benificiation, as it is called here, will pay. The complete amalgamation in the "circo," or circle, requires from forty to fifty days.

DR. Circo of six caxones, a $16 caxon

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150 mule loads, (transportation to the hacienda,) a 25

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CR. 6 caxones, at 6 marks caxon, 36 marks. (Mark is worth

in Cerro Pasco $8 50)

306 00

5 tramplings by horses, a $5

Working and washing the amalgam

I had this statement from Mr. Jump. I did not examine it at the time, but I observed afterwards that there is no charge for driving off the mercury of the amalgam, and leaving the pure silver, which is worth eight dollars and fifty cents the mark. This would amount to six dollars more, leaving the profit to the purchaser, for the two months that he has been engaged in getting his silver, but fourteen dollars. This, of course, is but a poor business; for, though any quantity of the ore may be purchased, there are not haciendas enough to grind, or circos to amalgamate, a sufficient quantity to make the speculation good; and thus many millions of this ore are left unworked. The ore, however, rarely costs sixteen dollars, and will frequently give seven or eight marks to the caxon.

Statement showing the cost of a mark of silver placed on board ship for exportation:

Cost of a mark of piña in the Cerro

Impost for steam machines for pumping water from the mines. (This has been 12 cents, and soon will be 50 cents)

Socabon (or great drain) duty

Public works

Government or export duty

Mineral tribunal duty

Loss in running the piña into bars

Carriage to Lima, and other petty expenses

Profit of the purchaser in the Cerro










10 12

Twelve dwts. is the standard of pure silver in the mint at Lima. All the bars that go from this place are marked 11.22. They are assayed in Lima. If they come up to that standard they are worth $8.6746 the mark. For every grain under this 11.22 there is a deduction in the price of .0303 of a dollar.

To-day there was a meeting of the gremio, to take into consideration a question that had arisen whether the contractors for putting up the steam machinery for draining the mines had fulfilled their part of the contract. A short history of the draining of these mines may not be uninteresting, and will at all events put persons on their guard how they make contracts with miners.

The mines of Cerro Pasco were discovered in 1630, by an Indian making a fire on some stones and observing melted silver. They were worked, with little or no drainage, and with great success, up to the

year 1780, when the socabon (or drain) of San Judas was commenced. This is a great ditch of five and a half feet in breadth and six feet ten inches in height, which drains the mines into the lake of San Judas. Its length is about thirty-five hundred feet, and it cost one hundred thousand dollars. It was finished in 1800. This would drain, by percolation, all the mines above it. For those below it, it was necessary to pump the water up by hand. This was found so inefficient a means, (the socabon also not being sufficiently large,) that in 1806 the gremio commenced the construction of the socabon of Quiulacocha, eightyeight feet below that of San Judas, six feet ten inches broad, and eight feet three inches high. The work is continued upon it to this day. The part that I saw is arched, well walled with solid masonry, and the water rushes through it like a small river. Many lumbreras, or light holes, are sunk down upon it in various directions to give light and air, and to carry into the socabon the drainage of the neighboring mines.

In 1816, the gremio contracted with two Spaniards, Abadia and Arismendi, for the drainage of the mines by steam machinery. These persons put up three steam machines for working pumps, and the results were very happy, the ores being found much richer the farther down the mines reached. The war of independence broke them up; their miners being taken away for soldiers, and their machines used up for horse-shoes.

In 1825, an English company, styling itself the "Pasco Peruvian,” undertook the drainage. This company contracted to be paid in ores, which they were to beneficiate themselves. They were never fairly paid. They employed English officials and operatives at high salaries; and after having dug one hundred and ten feet, at a cost of forty thousand dollars, between September, 1825, and January, 1827, they failed. The government then took it up, and gave two thousand dollars monthly towards the work, the miners also taxing themselves twelve and a half cents on the mark of silver obtained. Rivero took charge of the work, and from the first of June, 1827, to the first of January, 1828, he perforated one hundred and twenty-two feet in the socabon, the workmen finding powder and candles, and he supplying tools. In an official statement, afterwards made by Rivero, he shows that to excavate a vara cost him eighty-six dollars, while it cost the Pasco Peruvian Company one thousand dollars; though he says that in the lumbrera of Sta. Rosa the Pasco Peruvian Company found the rock so hard that twelve men could not perforate more than half a vara a month. The socabon at present is eight thousand two hundred and fifty feet long, and three hundred feet below the surface. About a million of dollars have been spent upon it, though it is said it has not really cost so much.

A few years ago it was determined to try steam again, for the purpose of carrying on the mining below the great drain, and the gremio contracted with Mr. Jump to undertake it. He bound himself to put up four sets of engines, to work those engines for a year at his own expense, and then turn them over to the gremio; the gremio, on the other hand, binding itself to sink the shafts and to pay weekly twelve and a half cents on every mark of silver produced by the mines for a certain length of time, then twenty-five, and then fifty cents, till six hundred thousand dollars were paid.

The work is carried on with unexampled despatch on the part of Mr. Jump, so that now two sets of engines are at work, a third is going up, and the fourth has arrived from England, though the shaft is not yet ready for it. But there are two parties in the gremio, representing distinct interests. One party, of which General Bermudez (at the time of making the contract prefect of the department and ex-officio president of the gremio) is the leader, represents the speculative men, who look for "boyas," and think that great and sudden riches are to be had by draining the mines below the socabon. The other party (and the majority) represents the men who, content with moderate and certain gain, work the cascajos which are generally above the drain, and therefore need no machinery. These men were probably borne down by the influence of Bermudez during his prefecture and a majority was obtained for the contract; but since his retirement they rise up and say, "It is a hard case that we should contribute to pay for machines that do us no good;" and they seek for means to avoid this. They find it in the wording of the contract; and although they see that the machines are doing, and more than doing, the work required, they take advantage of the wording, and raise the question now under consideration. The words of the contract are, that "he, the contractor, shall bind himself to put up four sets of engines, each set to consist of two engines of fifteenhorse power each, and to drive three pumps; each engine to be entirely independent of the other in such a manner that, if an accident happen. to one engine, the other shall be able to drive two pumps."

I thought, from examination of the engines, that a case might occur whereby the wording of the contract would fail to be fulfilled; but it seemed to me that this arose from the nature of the contract, and was not at all chargeable on Mr. Jump; for it appears to me that, for two engines to drive three pumps, and in such a manner that if one breaks the other may drive two, it is necessary to have a connexion between those engines, which connexion breaking, although either engine may be intact and able to drive its own pump, (thus keeping two pumps

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