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dergo, proparatory to reduction, consists of hand-breaking or cobbing" for the removal of the unproductive rock.

The small ores and dirt hoisted from the mine are made into. “ adobes" sun-dried bricks, sufficient clay for the purpose being associated with the ore. The object of these “ adobes" is to build up the mouths of the furnaces to sustain the load of richer ores. No flux is employed, there being sufficient lime associated with the ores to aid the decomposition of the sulphurets.

The furnaces are built entirely of brick, in dimensions capable of holding from sixty thousand to one hundred and ten thousand pounds, according to the character of the ores employed. The chambers are fired from a lateral furnace, fed with wood, and separated from the ore by a wall pierced with numerous openings by the omission of bricks for that purpose.

Connected with the furnace is a series of lofty and capacious chambers, also of masonry, through which the whole product of combustion is compelled to pass alternately above and below from chamber to chamber, until all the available mercury is condensed. The draught from these furnaces is carried by inclined stacks up to the top of a lofty hill several hundred feet distant; and here the sulphurous acid and other effete products of the furnace are discharged. Formerly no precautions were taken to prevent the escape of mercury through the foundations of the furnace to the earth beneath; now the furnaces stand


double arches of brickwork, and plates of iron are built into the foundations, so as to cut off entirely all descending particles of the metal and turn them inward. To be convinced of the importance of this precaution, it is sufficient to watch the operation of the furnace for a few moments, when an intermittent stream may be seen to flow into a reservoir provided for it, and which by the former process was completely lost in the earth.

On taking up the foundations of some of the old furnaces, within the last two years, the metal was found to have penetrated, or rather permeated, completely through the foundation and clay of the substructure down to the bed-rock beneath, a depth of not less than twenty-five or thirty feet. Over two thousand flasks of mercury were thus recovered in a single year from the foundations of the two furnaces. This loss is entirely avoided by the improved construction which has been adopted.

The whole process of reduction is extremely simple, the time occupied from one charge to another being usually about seven days. The metal begins to run in from four to six hours after the fires are lighted, and in about sixty hours the process is completed. The metal is conducted through various condensing chambers, by means of pipes of iron, to a “crane-neck,” which discharges into capacious kettles. It undergoes no further preparation for market, being quite clean from all dross.

Property of the company.—The landed estate of the Quicksilver Mining Company consists, therefore, of seven thousand eight hundred acres, or a fraction over twelve square miles, of which more than one-third is mineral ground, traversed by veins of cinnabar which have been traced for miles and tested in more than a dozen places, and of which the celebrated New Almaden mine, which has produced, prior to its possession by this company, more than fifty thousand tons of ore, yielding about twenty-four million pounds of quicksilver, is but a single development.

The permanent improvements upon the property of the company consist of Dwelling-houses, workshops, and stores at the hacienda. Dwelling-houses, workshops, and stores at New Almaden mine.. Dwelling-houses, workshops, and stores at Enriqueta mine. Dwelling-houses on the farms.


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The buildings cost over $160,000.
There are six furnaces at the Hacienda, costing about $100,000.

The railway from the mouth of the New Almaden mine to the furnaces, one and one-quarter mile in length, was completed in December last, and cost about $12,000.

The population located upon the lands of the company, and nearly all in its employ, are as follows: At the Hacienda

286 At New Almaden village.

1, 396 At Enriqueta village..

176 On the farms.



1, 943

The inventory of personal property at the several mines, exclusive of ores on hand, amounts to the sum of $113,876.


Produce of quicksilver at New Almaden, from July 1, 1850, to August 31, 1863.

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July, 1850, to June, 1851.
July, 1851, to June, 1852.
July, 1852, to June, 1853.
July, 1853, to June, 1854.
July, 1854, to June, 1855.
July, 1855, to June, 1856.
July, 1856, to June, 1857.
July, 1857, to June, 1858.
July, 1858, to Oct., 1858.
Nov., 1858, to Jan., 1861.
Feb., 1861, to Jan., 1862.
Feb., 1862, to Jan., 1863.
Feb., 183, to Aug., 1863.

12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 4


Flasks. Flasks. 4,970, 717 35.89

23, 875 4, 643, 290 | 32. 17 19,921 4,839, 520 27.94 18, 035 7,448,000 26.49 26, 325 9, 109, 300 26.23 31, 860 10, 355, 200 20.34

28, 183
10, 299, 900 18.93 26, 002
10,997, 170 20.05 29, 347
3,873, 085 20.05 10,588

Mine closed by injunction.
13, 323, 200 18, 21 32, 402 2, 363
15, 281,400 19, 27 39,262

1, 129
7,172, 660 18. 11 17, 316


Flasks. 23, 875 19,921 19,035 26, 325 31,860 28, 183 26, 002 29, 347 10,588


34, 765 40, 391 19,564


10 yrs. and 102, 313,442
11 mos.

302, 916

5,740 | 308, 756

General average from furnaces 22.20 per cent. Produce of quicksilver 23,519,834 pounds.

NOTE.-By the terms of the compromise with Messrs. Barron & Co., in August, 1863, the New Almaden mine was to be held and worked by them for the benefit of this, the Quicksilver Company, during the months of September and October, and the company was to assume the entire control on the 1st of November.

During these two months the product was as follows: September, 2,371 flasks; October, 3,149 ; total product, 5,520, or 422,280 pounds.

Tabular statement showing the product of all the furnaces from November,

1863, to December, 1864, inclusive.

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332 1,314, 200 20, 326,000 4,005, 900 25,646,100 46, 216 3,566, 200

Total product from furnaces.
Total product from washings.

46,216 flasks.

720 flasks.


46,936 flasks.

Average per cent. of all ore reduced, tierras deducted, 16.49.

Tabular statement showing the gross product monthly for 1865.

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[From official report of Mr. Bond, the vice-president, for 1865.] “ The quantity of ore mined and reduced was 31,948,400 pounds, or about 16,000 tons, and the general average of all the ore reduced, allowing 3 per cent. for tierras, was 12.43 per cent.

" It will be noticed that while the production of quicksilver during 1865 has been in excess of any previous year, yet it has not increased in proportion to

the increased quantity of ore mined. The average percentage of 1864, as shown by the last year's report, was 16.40 per cent., and for the ten years preceding was 22.20 per cent.'

Tabular statement showing the gross product monthly for 1866.

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Comparative statement of quicksilver exported from California to various coun

tries from 1859 to 1864.

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Exports to January 1, 1866. At the commencement of the year 1865, the company had under consignment and on hand 20,396 flasks of quicksilver, in addition to the quantity, 7,396 flasks, consigned through Messrs. Alsop & Co., which was distributed as follows: Consigned to China...

7,000 Consigned to Mexico

4, 250 Consigned to Peru..

1,000 Consigned to Chili..

600 Consigned to New York ..

1, 200 Consigned to London,.

1, 600 47, 834

Consigned to Oregon..
Consigned to Australia.
On hand in Nevada...
On hand in California..

30 100 1, 854 2, 762

Total fiasks...

20, 396

The product for 1865 lias been distributed as follows:
Consigned to China..
Consigned to London
Consigned to Peru.
Consigned to Chili
Consigned to New York,
Consigned to Mexico..
Consigned to Australia.
Consigned to Oregon.
On hand in Nevada.
On hand in California,

14, 250 10, 400 5, 500 2,000 6, 800 2, 650


280 4, 641


Total flasks...

47, 194

Total number of flasks to be accounted for.....

67, 590

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The number of flasks sold from these consignments during the year, and

accounts therefore closed and settled, were 19,756, as follows:
Sold in China...
Sold in New York..
Sold in Mexico ..
Sold in Australia.
Sold in London.
Sold in Peru..
Sold in Nevada
Sold in California.
Sold in Oregon...

4,000 4,500


100 1,600 1,000 6, 495 1, 350


Total flasks

19, 756

Flasks remaining on hand January 1, 1866, and to be accounted for.. 47, 834

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Total flasks ...

H. Ex. Doc. 29-12

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