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last ten years the manufacture of home wines has been introduced, and they are drunk by the inhabitants in preference even to the legitimate wines exported from the south of France. The laborers themselves will soon abandon the old, tasteless and unwholesome chicha for the common wine, which is being manufactured in large quantities in the neighbourhood of Santiago, and at a very low price.
After agriculture, the great sources of the wealth of Chili, are its famous mines of gold, silver and copper. But having taken sufficient notice of their products in the second part of this pamphlet, we have now only to point out a few figures showing the locations and extensions of the principal mines.
In 1862, the principal mines worked in the several provinces were the following: Provinces.
Gold. Silver. Copper. Atacama,
247 994 Coquimbo,
9 228 Concepcion,
55 305 1,710 The mines of the Cordilleras of the coast have proved productive, in the province of Santiago, of silver and gold. The latter metal is worked in veins associated with the sulphurets of lead, zinc, copper, and iron, four leagues from Rancagua, and is also collected in the deposits of the streams. The inaccessibility of the mining districts, and the presence of hostile Indians, check the working of the gold mines; so that the annual production of the whole country is not rated at more than $500,000. The silver mines, though once extensively worked, are now for the most part abandoned for the richer mines of Copiapó. This province likewise affords some cobalt and nickel, veins of the arsenical ores having been worked for several years near the mountain called Cerro del Volcan, and their products shipped to England. Copper mines are found along the course of the granitic and metamorphic rocks of the coast range and western
of the Andes from Santiago to the northern extremity of the country. This belt indeed abounds in metallic riches throughout its extent, even to Bolivia and Perú; but though lead, iron, bismuth, antimony, arsenic, zinc, and manganese are found, they are esteemed of no value, and the only mines worked are of the other metals named, and also to some extent of cinnabar. The importance of this ore is, however, greatly reduced by the cheap production of mercury in California.
Lately, discoveries of immense quantities of copper have been found in that part of the desert of Atacama which belongs to Chili. Several smelting establishments have been built by foreign mercantile houses, and principally by a very enterprising and respectable Chilian, Don José Antonio Moreno, who died lately in Santiago, leaving an immenes fortune, of which he made a very patriotic and liberal use.
The desert of Atacama, by its guano fields near Mejillones and elsewhere, and its inexhaustible veins of metals, will prove in future a source of revenue to Chile as abundant as that of her immense southern fields of bituminous coals.
COAL AND COAL FIELDS.
The coal beds of the province of Concepcion, were known as early as the year 1825. In 1834 they were examined by Mr. Wheelwright, Superintendent of the South Pacific Steam Navigation Company. In 1841 the formation was traced between Talcahuano and Valparaiso, and mines were soon after opened at the former locality. Coal has also been found in abundance near the mouth of the Laraqueto, and the beds are visible in the cliffs from vessels sailing along the coast. The most productive mines are in the districts of Coronel and Lota, the latter thirty miles south of the Biobio, in the province of Concepcion. About three thousand miners are employed, and the average annual produce is estimated at about seven hundred thousand tons, worth about seven dollars per ton. The coal beds are contained in strata supposed to be of the tertiary formation ; and though the coal of this age is never so good as that of the true coal measures, that of Chili is found to answer for steam and domestic purposes. Prof. W. R. Johnson examined some specimens said to be from the province of Arauco, which he describes in vol i. of the “Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, as of dull or pitchy black color, and nearly related in external appearance, to many of the richest bituminous coals of America and Europe. By analysis they afforded 67.62 per cent. of carbon, showing a decided superiority over the ordinary brown coal of the tertiary. Reports of examinations of other coals of the region represent, however, a percentage of carbon not exceeding 40, and the presence of much iron pyrites. Coal is imported from England in large quantities for the use of steamers, and for smelting ores.
The largest coal works, managed by the most perfect English system, and established at an expense of nearly a million of dollars, belong to Mr. Luis Cousiño, who inherited them a few years ago from his worthy father, Don Matias Cousiño, a man who devoted his life and capital to the advancement of his country, and died in the prime of life. Mr. Cousiño, as well as Mr. Moreno and Mr. Urmeneta, (the wealthy proprietor of the copper mines of Tamaya), deserve the gratitude of their countrymen for their generous efforts to improve and develop the industry of the country.
RAILWAYS AND ROADS.
Chili is, perhaps, the South American country which presents the greatest difficulties for the making of good freighting roads and railways, and at the same time possesses the most of both. In 1862 there were not less than five railroads, comprising a distance of five hundred and forty-three kilometres, and three hundred and sixty-five broad roads, comprising fourteen thousand and thirty-one kilometres.
Lately, not less than five hundred miles of railways have been completed, and in order to connect the whole extent of the country, through the central valleys from Copiapó, southward to Concepcion, no less than one thousand miles are to be constructed, and already a part of this in process of construction, under scientific study and survey.
Having stated, in the latter part of this work, the location of the principal railroads, for which we refer the reader to the accompanying Map, we now proceed to give some interesting facts about the length, cost, progress and results of those enterprises.
The following table for 1863, shows the extent, in kilometres, of the railways in the country (1st column), the absolute cost in dollars of each (2 column), and the relative cost per kilometre (3d column):
Cost per Kilo.
Kilo. From Valparaiso to Santiago,
183.98 10,834,798 59,020 From Santiago to San Fernando,
133.57 5,526,000 41,370 From Caldera to Pabellon
119.05 2.960,000 24,860 From Pabellon to Chañarcillo,
41.75 1,000,000 23,952 From Coquimbo to las Cardas,
64.61 1,040,000 16,000
542.96 21,360,798 39,341 The number of passengers who traveled on the several lines in 1863, was 754,760, according to the annexed figures: First class passengers,
124,436 Second "
754,760 The produce of the several lines was $1,726,434, of which $615,076 were paid by passengers, and $1,111,358 for freight.
The whole extent of the lines of communication by land (taking into coŅsideration only the cartable roads) and by rivers, amounted, in 1863, to 16,039 kilometres and were distributed in the several provinces, as shown in the following table: Provinces.
Roads. Rivers. Railways. Chiloé
76 291 Valdivia
119 472 Arauco
2,190 452 Concepcion
1,434 171 Ñuble
388 152 Maule
777 94 Colchagua
Chili has given but little attention to manufactures, The Government has, within a few years, endeavored to introduce them by offering exclusive privileges to manufacturers for a term of years, but with little success. Apart from the manufacture of common cloth, which, though woven in the rudest looms, possesses some qualities which the French and English goods have never been able to attain, and the coarser kinds of work in gold, silver, copper and iron, the very imperfect tanning of a smail quantity of leather, and the simpler processes of the soapboiler and candle-maker, the production of lumber, and the preservation of dried meats, there is little that can be called manufacturing in the country.
Nevertheless, there were, in 1863, no less than 132 steam engines, with an accumulated force of 9,970 horse power, equivalent to a force of 69,790 man power. Of those engines, 3 were employed in saw-mills, 13 in distilling liquors, 2 in blowing furnaces, 6 in flour mills, and 14 in coal mines. There is in Santiago a large manufactory of cloths in the French plan, and another of cotton goods in Valparaiso.
LATE PROGRESS OF CHILI.
Chili has ever been known as the steadiest, most prosperous and best governed of the South American countries. Although the revenue is not large, it is so economically and faithfully managed that all the branches of the public service are kept in perfect order. Public education, religious worship, the army, the navy, the public buildings, the roads, the preservation of harbors and lighthouses, the proper working of the mines, the protection afforded to manufactures, agriculture, and to public charities, the encouragement offered to emigration, the subsidies paid for internal or foreign steam navigation, and particularly the construction of telegraphic lines throughout the whole extent of the country, and of magnificent and costly railways, are attended to and paid for freely from the public funds or credit of the republic.
Slavery is prohibited by law, all traffic in it forbidden, and every person who treads the soil is declared free.