Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 22.djvu/526

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so as to work the lead from underneath. But it is, perhaps, too late, because results have not kept pace with expectations; besides this, the heat below in the shaft is so great that work is almost impossible. This bonanza has in ten years furnished $200,000,000, $90,000,000 of which were in gold. The discoverer, Henry Comstock, after having sold his share, committed suicide. The lode, in 1877, furnished $37,911,000, of which $17,771,000 was in gold; in 1878, $10,404,000 silver, and $9,825,000 gold—a total of $20,230,000; 1879, $5,190,000 silver, and $9,725,000 gold—total, $14,915,000; 1880, $2,634,000 silver, and $8,830,000 gold—total, $11,484,000. The total yield of the twenty-eight mines of the Comstock lode has, from $271,000,000 in 1875, sunk to $14,000,000 in 1881. This decrease had a due influence upon the total production of the United States, which was in 1878, $47,266,107; 1879, $38,900,600; 1880, $36,000,030.

The traveler who visits the gold-regions of the United States will everywhere meet with decayed buildings and abandoned localities, which, in former years, were in a flourishing condition.

The gold production of Australia has followed about the same course: first, the washing of the auriferous sand; next, the working of the deep deposits, and, finally, the lodes; after that, again decrease of production. The chain of mountains passing in Australia from north to south consists of sedimentary rock, in places mixed with volcanic. Auriferous veins come up to the surface. The mountains of New South Wales contain veins and sand mixed with gold, which placers were worked for a distance of 180 miles. But the working of the leads was not remunerative, and the gold in the sand was soon exhausted. Production fell from 126,780 ounces in 1876 to 75,492 ounces in 1879.

Where the chain of the Australian mountains passes through Queensland, it attains in places to a breadth of 25 miles, and also here the volcanic rock has carried the gold up to the surface. Large mining establishments, with shafts sunk 600 feet in depth, and producing 70,852 ounces annually, are to be found here.

The German consul in Sydney, Mr. Soetbeer, has arranged the following table, exhibiting the decrease of the Australian gold production:

Kilogrammes. Value in marks.
1856 to 1860 86,700 241,893,000
1861 to 1865 77,700 216,783,000
1866 to 1870 70,400 196,416,000
1871 to 1875 59,900 167,121,000
1876 59,100 164,889,000
1877 52,300 145,917,000
1878 45,300 120,387,000
1879 39,000 108,010,000

Thus we will find a uniform decrease in all parts of the world, and this at a time when the expansion of commerce makes the metal in-