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Amount received at the U. S. Mint and Branches to December
31, 1857, not including the yield of December, 1857, in transitu...
$410,623,297 Yield of December, 1857..
5.000,000 Amount received at Bank of England * (estimated)...
65,000,000 Amount (estimated) in this State, (in dust) on deposit, and in hands of miners, etc....
20,000,000 Amount (estimated) shipped to foreign countries, other than to
England, and the quantity manufactured (in dust)... 10,000,000
Total yield to December 31, 1857..
$510,623,297 Estimated product for 1858, (amount shipped to November 5, $41,284,028)..
Total yield to December 31, 1858.
A careful examination of these figures indicates an aggregate yield of gold from the mines of this State, up to the close of the year 1858, of nearly $600,000,000.
The yield of the gold mines of Australia up to December, 1857, is estimated by Hunt's Magazine, (June 1858,) at $330,677,420.
SILVER. “This metal has been found in several of the mines that have been opened in this State, all of them, thus far, situated in the southern district. It was first met with in a distinct vein, running parallel with a vein of gold, in the South Carolina Mine, at Carson Hill. At this place I obtained a fine speci
I was informed of its being found in the Old Dominion Mine, beside the above, and north of it, and also in the Relief Mine, south of it. The New York Mining Company, on the opposite side of the river at Eagle Hill, was the next in which it made its appearance. At the Chilean Mine, two miles north of Columbia, it occurs, associated with copper and gold in quartz in the form of sulphuret; also Frazer's Mine, twelve miles east of Sonora, with galena and zinc-blende in the same rock. At these localities it is generally disseminated through the quartz.”—Dr. Trask, 1853.
“In the county of Monterey this metal occurs in the form of argentiferous galena (or lead and silver); this mineral is found in the primitive and transition limestone abounding in this section.”—Dr. Trask, 1854.
Numerous veins of silver ore have been developed, during the past few years, in different portions of this State, and several are at the present time being worked with considerable profit to their owners. The Quartzburg, (Mariposa,) Vein is said to be very rich, and, from present appearances, it will yield a large income. The vein at San Diego, near the coast, has prospected 80 favorably that a company has been formed to work it on an extensive scale.
Indications of the existence of silver ore, in considerable quantities, have been found in the counties of El Dorado, Mariposa, Santa Barbara and Santa Clara. The mines of Santa Barbara were worked many years ago, but of late have received but little attention.
* Amount shipped to England by a single house in San Francisco, up to Nov. 1858, $40,000,000.
3. COPPER. “This metal is much more widely distributed than the silver, through the western flank of the range. Commencing on the extreme north, it is found on the North Fork of the Trinity, a short distance from its confluence with the main stream, in a metallic state, in crystals and masses. The vein cuts both sides of the river, but its entire extent is not known. Vitreous copper is found, and also malachite. It occurs on both the Middle and South Forks of Feather River, in the form of carbonate; also between Nevada and Grass Valley, near the Halfway House, and in many parts of the southern mines.
The ores of copper are found in the form of carbonate, sulphuret and silicate, among the Santa Cruz Mountains; in the vicinity of Rincon Point, south of San Francisco, it is found sparingly disseminated among the trap and metamorphosed rocks of that section. In the mountains, south of Monterey, it is also found over a limited area, and again in the lower hills on the east side of the Salinas Valley, near the Rancho Alisal. At this locality it occurs in an extensive quartz dike that has forced its way through all the other rocks, both igneous and sedimentary; the forms in which it appears are the blue and green carbonate, in crystals, the sulphuret, the latter found in small masses detached from the gangue. In the same rocks are to be found considerable quantities of iron pyrites, generally disseminated and containing a small quantity of gold. The above ores of copper are often met with in these mountains, their occurrence over so wide a range, and the trapean rocks with which they are so often associated, lead to the belief that at a future day they may be found in sufficient quantity to be profitably worked.” Dr. Trask, 1854.
A vein of copper, strongly impregnated with silver, has been recently discovered at Hope Valley, El Dorado County; and in Green Valley, Placer County, the ore in great abundance may be found scattered on the sides of the hills. The ore from the vicinity of the Pitt and McCloud Rivers, Shasta County, is said to excel in richness the celebrated Arizona mines, and to contain in addition a considerable quantity of gold. Ore of exceeding richness has been also found in different localities in El Dorado County, and a vein on the Cosumnes has yielded over seventy per cent. of pure metal.
There is a vein of copper on the Middle Fork of the Cosumnes River, Mountain Township, El Dorado County, now being worked by machinery propelled by water; the mill has three stamps attached, and has so far yielded a handsome return to the proprietors.
4. IRON. “This metal is found in almost every variety of form, from one end of the Coast Mountains to the other—the prevailing mineral, however, is the peroxide and protoxide of this metal; the latter is often found in the form of hydrate, and when occurring in proximity to serpentine rocks, often found to be more or less auriferous. This mineral is largely developed in some parts of the auriferous district of Mariposa County, and from one of the most valuable receptacles of gold among the gold-bearing rocks of that section."--Dr. Trask, 1854.
Large quantities of iron ore have been found in Placer County, wbich, it is said, has yielded over eighty per cent. of pure metal. Considerable quantities of iron from this vein have been manufactured in San Francisco.
5. SULPHATE OF IRON. "This article, known in commerce under the name of Copperas,' is found native in large quantities near the town of Santa Cruz. Its principle had occurred a short distance west of the house of Mr. Medor, in a gulch running from the mountains through the low hills to the coast. I followed the course of the ravine from where it enters the high hill near the crossing of the road north-west of the town to near the sea; the average depth of its bank varies from fifteen to thirty feet; its length, from the hill to the coast, being about two miles.
The copperas formed an efflorescence on the sides and bottom of the ravine, covering entirely the earth and stones, on which a great quantity had crystalized; it was not difficult to scoop up a pound or more, at any one of these places; the banks of the ravine above the water were covered with the effloresced salt to such thickness that a white and green color was given for several yards in length, the ground being entirely obscured. The depth of the earth that was thoroughly impregnated with the salt would average ten feet for the whole length of the ravine. The depth to which this descends below the surface is unknown, but it is probably considerable; the rocks at the bottom are a micaceous schist, and were broken into for two or three feet, and at that depth seemed as strongly charged with the ferruginous salt as at the surface. A small stream of water runs through the gulch which is permanent throughout the year, and carries a sufficient quantity to answer all the purposes of an extensive manufacture of this article for commerce. It would be difficult to find a locality that combines the same advantages that this does for the manufacture of sulphate of iron; all that is necessary to be done has been performed by nature, and to extract the salt it is only necessary to erect vats upon the coast and shovel the earth, to be leached, directly into them. An area of several square miles is highly charged with the mineral, and the day is not far distant when Santa Cruz will become as celebrated for the manufacture of this article as it has been heretofore for its vegetable productions.”—Dr. Trask, 1854.
6. MAGNETIO IRON. “At the distance of two miles north-west of the above locality an extensive bed of magnetic iron occurs, running down to the coast, at which point it crops out and exhibits a depth of several feet. Towards the mountains I have been informed that it again shows itself above the surface in several places; there is every reason to believe that it underlies an extensive district, as much difficulty has been experienced in obtaining correct courses by the compass—in one instance the needle was deflected to thirty-one degrees on approaching its southern edge.”—Dr. Trask, 1854.
7. PLATINUM. “This metal appears as widely distributed as gold; there is scarcely a section of country, in which gold has been found, but that this metal also has been discovered. This fact would lead us to suppose, that from the commercial value of the metal in its crude state, being about one-half that of gold, that it may at some future day be sought for, as an article of commercial export, among the exhausted placers of the country. It is to be regretted that a more intimate acquaintance with this metal, among those engaged in the mining districts, does not exist, as I feel fully confident that the value of our mines would be enhanced nearly twenty-five per cent. by its collection.
A description of the metal would not lead to its detection, as it is so frequently combined with other minerals that closely resemble it, and would be easily overlooked. We shall, therefore, dismiss it by noticing the localities where it has been observed.
It occurs on Salmon River, in the drift that contains the gold, in small, round grains of a steel-gray; also on the South Fork of the Trinity about eight miles from its junctions. On Butte Creek, near Reeve's Bar; on Hon. cut Creek, imbedded in gold, between the North and South Forks, and also in the placers between there and Feather River. On Cañon Creek of Butte County; on Middle Fork of American River; on Calaveras River, associated with small garnets in the drift; on Wood's Creek; at Gold Flat, Nevada, with iridium and osmium, and small crystals of rutile, at the bottom of the shafts.
The wide dispersion of this metal, through this country would indicate that at some future day it may be made a source of profit.”—Dr. Trask, 1853.
8. OHROMIUM. "I would invite your attention particularly to the ores of this metal, inasmuch as from its appearance in large quantities in some sections of the State, and the extensive distribution of the serpentine rocks to which it is also incident, we may expect, with a great degree of confidence, that it will be largely developed within our borders. It is an article of great commercial importance throughout the civilized world. Its principal use in the arts, is for the coloring of porcelain, dyeing, and as a pigment. The fine chrome yellow so highly prized, is manufactured from this mineral. Nearly all the chrome used in the world, is produced from the mines in the United States. The Shetland Isles producing the next largest amount. The principal locality, and we might say nearly the only one on the Atlantic border from which this mineral is derived, is at the Bare Hills, near Baltimore, and this affords the supply of the world.
The greatest amount that can be obtained from all sources at present known, is about two thousand tuns, though the market would consume a much larger amount could it be obtained. From the limited supply in the market, the public will, at no distant day, be directed to its development in this State. So soon as cheap and rapid means of communication are obtained with the interier of the State, this ore will probably become an article of export to a large extent, to China, the Atlantic States and England. It would be unnecessary to make it an article of export even, unless its reduction would prove too expensive in this State, on account of the high price of labor, for ample material usually exists in its vicinity for this purpose.
The high prices of the various manufactures from this mineral cannot fail to attract attention to its further development; and I feel that the value of the mineral will be sustained, when we say, that its market price in the state of rough ore, will equal the product of our best ores of gold in their average, being about eighty dollars per tun. It has maintained this price very uniformly for a number of years.
This mineral is found in veins and masses running through serpentine rocks. These masses are often large, weighing from sixty to eighty pounds, and smaller, and generally disseminated through the rock and upon its surface.
The finest specimens the author has ever seen, have been found in this country, and in some localities in large quantities. A striking feature in the country that abounds in this mineral, among the serpentine formations, is the peculiar bareness of the immediate district, compared to other surrounding sections, and an individual once observing it, would scarcely fail to recognize its characteristics even at a considerable distance.
The principal localities that have been observed as abounding in this mineral, are upon Nelson Creek near its junction with Feather River, in fragmentary masses. On the ridge, between the North and Middle Forks of the
American, in small fragments ; on Bear River four miles above Anson's Ferry; in the Coyote Diggings, near Nevada; and on Deer Creek, two miles below the city of Nevada.
It is at this last named locality that its attendant peculiarities may be most conveniently studied. It occurs here in large amorphous masses of twenty to fifty pounds weight, scattered over a low range of hills of some four to six miles in extent. The mineral would be easily mistaken, by the passing traveler, for large fragments of some of the darker trap rocks, or dark porphyries.
It is very dense, and possesses a semi-metallic luster. Rolled fragments are often found of considerable weight on the banks of the creek in the vicinity. My attention was first directed to this mineral by Mr. Henry Pratten, who is at the present time connected with the Geological State Survey of Illinois, and formerly of the Minnesota Survey, by the United States.”—Dr. Trask, 1853.
9. GYPSUM. "Sulphate of lime is reported to abound in the northern part of Santa Cruz, and in the vicinity of the Palo de los Yeska, some six miles from the Mission; it was frequently spoken of by the inhabitants of this place, but I was unable to learn its precise locality. It is not improbable that it does abound in this vicinity, as ample material for its formation exist in this section of country. An extensive bed of mountain limestone occurs in close proximity to the native sulphate of iron alluded to in the former paragraph." -Dr. Trask, 1854.
10. NIK EL. "The ores of this metal are found from Contra Costa on the north to the utmost southern limits reached in the Coast Mountains. It occurs in the primitive rocks, associated with chronic iron in almost every case where the latter may be obtained. It appears as a bright green mineral on the fractured surface of the other ores, and is known in technical language as nickel green.'
The scarcity of this metal renders the discovery of its ores in this country an object of some importance, and its wide distribution leads to the belief that it exists in sufficient quantities to warrant investment for its extraction from other ores, at no distant day. It is extensively used in the manufacture of German silver for wares and household utensils. When reduced, the metal is white, much resembling silver in its general appearance, and for which it has been mistaken in this country. The principal localities where it has been observed this season are at Contra Costa, in the serpentine rocks south of Tulecita, and near San Antonio in the county of Monterey, among the large beds of chronic iron from the San Benito, and the Panoches, of the Gabilan Range. The localities afford the largest amounts yet found in this State, and it is to be hoped that those explorations which are now in progress in this part of the country may result in the development of this mineral to a much greater extent than yet known."Dr. Trask, 1854.
11. ANTIMONY. “The common sulphuret of this metal is very abundant in the Monte Diablo Range; at Mount Oso it is found in large masses, also at various other points throughout these mountains; it occurs in considerable quantities in some parts of the county of Santa Barbara. This mineral is deserying of attention, as it often contains a notable quantity of silver, though