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work on mines which have been fairly opened. There are in the State a multitude of men engaged nominally in quartz mining who really spend much of their time in prospecting and lounging about, unwilling to work hard for ordinary wages, but preferring to ramble over the country in the hope of striking a for
As to the well known mines the yield on some of them is more than twenty dollars per day to the hand the year round.
6.--UNCERTAINTY IN QUARTZ MINING.
There are certain elements of uncertainty in quartz mining not found in farming or manufacturing. The farmer, on looking at the soil, knows that it will produce grain enough to support him; he can ascertain precisely what it will cost him to transport his grain to a market, and so can calculate how much money he will receive from an ordinary crop. There is a possibility of a great drought or a great blight, but he has, perhaps, a little capital as a reliance in such a case, and he makes his estimates on the basis of an average season. If he cannot afford to risk anything, he does all his work with his own hands, and he cannot lose more than his time.
The manufacturer is uncertain about the price which he must pay for the raw material, but he knows the world will have the goods, and will pay as much to him as to anybody else, and if he can manufacture a little cheaper than others he is certain of his profit. If he is incompetent to manage the business successfully, some one else can afford to buy him out at the cost of the building and machinery and make it pay. When a manufacturing establishment is once erected by a person of judgment and experience, it is presumed that the business will go on steadily for generation after generation. The supply of the raw material and the demand for the manufactured article, at least if the goods are not of the sort required by fickle fashion, will remain constant.
But with gold mining it is different. Auriferous quartz lodes have paying quantities of metal only in spots or streaks. The law of the distribution of the precious metals in veins is yet unknown. The quartz may be traced for miles, but only here and there will it pay to work. No mineral lode anywhere is worked, I believe, with much profit for more than two continuous miles, and it is seldom that the pay-rock extends more than one thousand feet along a vein. The great quartz lode of Mariposa, called sometimes the mother vein of Califor. nia, has been traced, it is supposed, for thirty miles or more; at least croppings of a large lead of the same quality of quartz, nearly in a straight line, are seen at various points between Bear valley, in Mariposa county, and Angels, in Calaveras county; and it is assumed that these croppings all belong to the same lode. In some places this vein is very rich, but the rich spots are not long, and are far apart, and in the intervals the rock is nearly or entirely barren. The miner may find quartz containing ten dollars to the ton, and he knows if the supply is abundant he may make a fortune from his claim; but to explore the lode requires a large capital, and there is no certainty of any return. The rock is too poor to work without a mill, and there is not enough in sight to justify the erection of a mill. If he takes the risk, and the pay-rock is soon exhausted, his mill, in that position, becomes worthless, and he loses the cost of all his framework, roads, and ditches, which, with the transportation, is frequently greater than the cost of the machinery proper. The manufacturer knows that his supply of cotton, wool, iron, leather, or wood, will not fail altogether, and if it becomes scanty he can raise his price so that his work will still be profitable; and the farmer knows that his soil will produce grass and grain as long as he lives; but the quartz miner does not know that the supply of his pay-rock will keep steady, and if it runs short he cannot expect the price of the precious metals to rise so that he can sell his produce for a higher price per pound.
There is again a great diversity in the facilities for quartz mining at different
places. The farmer or the manufacturer usually goes into a level country with open roads, and after ascertaining the distance to the market and the cost of transportation, he can decide whether he can afford to go into business. Perhaps he would find fifty places within a range of ten miles, all equally good for his farm or his factory. But with the miner the case is different. The mines are usually found in the mountains, where there are no roads, water is not conveniently accessible, and wood is scarce. The rock in one part of the lode is hard, in another soft; in one there is much sulphuret of iron, in another little. It is relatively cheaper to work a wide streak of pay-rock, other things being equal, than a nar
The mill may be far or near; it may be above the level of the mine, or below it; the water for washing the pulverized rock may be obtainable for Only part of the year, and the gold may be found in thick masses so that the workmen can conveniently pilfer considerable quantities. Many of the mills are in secluded places, where men of wealth do not like to live, and thus the property is put in charge of hired men, who lack the zeal and care of a proprietor. These are some of the points in which there are serious variations. It may safely be said that a farmer owning a hundred acres of rich soil on a prairie within twenty miles of any large town of Illinois, is certain of being able to make a very comfortable living; but a miner with a vein of auriferous quartz yielding ten dollars to the ton, within ten miles of a California town, is not certain of anything until he has examined the vein, its position its size, the character of the vein-stone and accompanying minerals, and the proximity and quantity of wood, besides a number of other particulars.
These are some of the diversities of circumstances which beset quartz mining in different places, and render it impossible to give a statement of the expenses of taking out rock, building a mill, and reducing the ore, applicable to the majority of the mines. It is useless to attempt to convey any precise idea about matters in which the variations are so great between the workings of different mines, and between the workings of the same mine at different times. All that can be done is to collect the facts in regard to the operations of the mines and mills of which we have reports, so as to show the range.
7.-PROFESSOR ASHBURNER'S STATISTICS.
In 1861 Professor W. Ashburner, connected with the State geological survey, prepared a tabular statement of the operations of the principal quartz mills then running in California. Of these there were four in Mariposa county, eight in Tuolumne, three in Calaveras, seven in Amador, three in Eldorado, two in Plumas, two in Sierra, and nine in Nevada-thirty-eight in all.
It appears from his table that in seven of the mills the stamps 400 and less than 500 pounds each ; in eight mills the weight was 500 and under 600 pounds; in eight the weight was between 600 and 700 pounds; in eight it was 700 and less than 1,000 pounds; in two it was 1,000, and in one 1,500.
The height to which the stamp was raised when allowed to fall varied from eight to fourteen inches. In ten mills the height was ten inches; in six, twelve inches; in five, fourteen inches; in four, thirteen inches; in one, eleven inches; in one, eight inches; in one, nine inches.
In thirteen mills the speed of the blows was from sixty to sixty-five inclusive per minute; in ten mills it was from fifty to fifty-eight; in three mills it was from forty to forty-eight; in three mills it was seventy; in three mills it was eighty; and in one mill it was thirty-two per minute.
In six of the steam-mills the consumption of wood for ten tons of ore crushed was from a cord to a cord and a half; in eight mills it was from a cord and a half to two cords ; in two mills it was from two to three cords; in three mills it was less than a cord; in one mill it was over three cords, and in another five cords.
The loss of mercury is reported for twenty-nine mills, and in two the loss is less than a pound in working one hundred tons of quartz; in twenty-one the loss is less than a pound in working ten tons; and in six the loss is over one pound in working ten tons. The lowest loss is seven pounds in working one thousand tons, and the yield of the rock there is reported to be $25 per ton, and the highest is one hundred and ninety-eight pounds for one thousand tons; and in that case the rock is reported to yield $17 14 per ton. The general rule is, however, that the higher the yield of gold, the greater the loss of quicksilver per ton, because more must be used.
The cost of extracting the quartz is reported for twenty-eight mines. In eight, it is $2 and less than $3 ; in four mines it is $3 and less than $4; in two mines it is $4 and less than $5; in five mines it is $5 and less than $6; in three mines it is $6 ; in two mines it is less than $2; in three mines it is between $7 and $14; in one mine it is $15; in another $20; and in another $26.
The average yield per ton was $5 and less than $10 in four mines; $10 and less than $16 in eleven ; $16 and less than $55 in five; between $25 and $40, inclusive, in seven; between $50 and $75 in four, and $80 in one.
In seven mills the cost of stamping per ton was 50 cents and less than $1 ; in seven $1 and less than $1 50; in five $150 and less than $2; in four $2 and less than $3 ; in three $3 and less than $4.
In thirteen mills the total cost of treatment (which includes crushing, amalgamation, and all the handling after the delivery of the quartz at the mill, and loss of quicksilver,) was $2 and less than $3 per ton; in seven mills it was $1 and less than $150 per ton; in four mills it was over $1 50 and less than $2; in two mills it was less than $1; in five mills it was between $3 and $4; and in three mills it was respectively $4 59, $6 27, and $8 31. The cheapest treatment was that of the Badger mine, in Amador county, where the cost was only 67 cents per ton.
In the months of August, September, October, and November of the year 1865, Mr. A. Rémond, in the service of the State geological survey of California, visited all the quartz mines and mills in operation, or that had been in operation, in those portions of Tuolumne and Mariposa counties lying between the Merced and Stanislaus rivers. The following is a list of the mines and mills thus visited :
Mine. 1. French Mary.. 2. Hope.. 3. Victor 4. Mount Hope. 5. Catherine.. 6. Cranberry.. 7. Rutherford. 8. Ferguson's 9. Cedar. 10. Empire... 11. Mary Harrison. 12. Malvina. 13. Adelaide 14. McAlpine. 15. Louisiana.. 16. Schimer's.. 17. Funk's.. 18. Casabon's. 19. Goodwin's
20. Derrick's... 21. Humbug. 22. Blue Ledge 23. Heslep's 24. App's. 25. Morse's, 26. Orcutt's. 27. No mine. 28. Eureka. 29. Summers's.. 30. Grizzly 31. Excelsior. 32. Dagner... 33. Mt. Vernon 34. Monitor... 35. Green's... 36. Pirate. 37. Independence. 38. Great Eastern.. 39. Comstock... 40. Soulsby.. 41. Independent. 42. Gilson's, (old inine). 43. Jackson's.. 44. Calder's.. 45. No mine... 46. Consuelo 47. Waters's. 48. Watts's. 49. Union... 50. Alabama... 51. Gilson's, (new mine) 52. No mine.. 53. Toledo. 54. Raw Hide.. 55. Shanghai 56. Columbia. 57. Patterson's 58. Valparaiso 59. Turner's.. 60. Preston's. 61. Italian .. 62. Old Whiskey Hill 63. Nyman's .. 64. John Knox's 65. No mine. 66. Clio .. 67. Shawmut. 68. Josephine... 69. Eagle., 70. Italian . 71. Nonpareil. 72. Burns 73. No mine... 74. Second Garote. 75. Morkam....
$3 00 $100 $1 50 Not running - $4, 000
Not running 14 00 1 25 3 00 Not running 3 50 2 00
3, 500 3,000 3,000
5 3 5
$500 1,000 1,000
600 1, 200
32 50 18 00 25 00 20 00 40 00 40 00 14 00 19 00
6 00 37 50 25 00 15 00
90 150 None. None.
330 None. 150 None.
15 35 25 8
6; 500 18,000
1 00 Bio
8 10 8 8 6 4 4 10 10
Running 6,000 Water..
Not running 42, 000 ||W. & S. 4 00 2 00 2 00 Not running 10,000 Water... 4 00 75 2 00 Running
Steam.. 3 00 None. 2 00
Water... 2 00 1 50 1 50
Water.. 12 00 3 00 4 00 Not running
Water.. 5 00 2 00 3 00 Not running
Water.. 2 50 40 2 00
W. & S.
Water. 4 00 None. 2 75 Running
W. & S. 3 00 50 1 00 Not running
Water.. 4 50 None. 1 75
100 1,000 1,500
200 None. None.
500 3,000 1,000
500 500 500
2 6 7 1 6 8
8 9 1 10 1 6 11 3 12 10 13 2 14 1 15 1 6 16 1 17 1 18 1 6 19
2 20 1 6 21 22 23 10 24 6 25 1 6 26 2 6 27 28 4 29 3 30 7 31 2 6 32 1 33 1 34 1 6 35
1 37 4 6 38 2 39 1 6 40 1 3 41
1 6 43
1 2 45
3 6 9
2 2 25 1 4