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CHAPTER IV.

Mines of Morococha-A Yankee's house-Mountain of Puy-puy-Splendid viewPacha-chacha-Lava stream-Chain bridge at Oroya-Descent into the valley of Tarma-Tarma-American physician-Customs-Dress-Religious observances-Muleteers and mules-General Otero-Farming in the SierraRoad to Chanchamayo-Perils of travel-Gold mines of Matichacra-View of the Montaña-Fort San Ramon-Indians of Chanchamayo-Cultivation.

We arrived at Morococha at 5 p. m. This is a copper mining hacienda, belonging to some German brothers named Pflucker, of Lima who own, also, several silver mines of the neighborhood. The copper and silver of these mountains are intimately mixed; they are both got out by smelting, though this operation, as far as regarded the silver, had been abandoned, and they were now beginning the process of extracting the silver, by the mode of grinding and washing-such as I have described at Párac-after having tried the via humida (or method of washing in barrels, used in Saxony) and failed.

The copper ore is calcined in the open air, in piles consisting of alternate layers of ore and coal, which burn for a month. The ore thus calcined is taken to ovens, built of brick imported from the United States, and sufficient heat is employed to melt the copper, which runs off into moulds below; the scoria being continually drawn off with long iron hoes. The copper in this state is called exe; it has about fifty per cent. of pure copper, the residue being silver, iron, &c., &c. It is worth fifteen cents the pound in England, where it is refined. There is a mine of fine coal eighteen miles from the hacienda, which yields an abundant supply. It is bituminous, but hard, and of great brilliancy. The hacienda employs about one hundred hands; more are desired, but they cannot be had at this time, because it is harvest, and the Indians are gathering the corn, barley, and beans of the valleys below. A man will get out about one thousand pounds of copper ore in a day. I do not think the mines were at work during our stay; at least, I saw or heard nothing of them. I could not either get statistics concerning the yield of these mines or the cost of working them, and I thought that I noticed some reserve upon this subject. The director told me that the silver ore of this region was very rich, and spoke of specimens that yielded one thousand, and even fifteen hundred, marks to the caxon,

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