The number of mining claims of all kinds in 1897 was 3,475, including gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc, quicksilver, coal, salt, sulphur, and petro- leum. Many of the claims, however, are unworked. Gold is found in most of the departments of Peru, but mining operations are now, in general, attended with little success. Many gold fields have been abandoned or are worked only by natives. In the department of Junin the mines of Cerro de Pasco, a ridge of gravelly sand, yield 31 to 52 grm. to the metric ton. Other important silver mines in active working are those at Caylloma, Castrovireina, and Recuay. The silver produced and melted into bars at Cerro de Pasco was, in 1891, 159,629 marks (the mark ^ 8oz.); in 1892, 163,019 marks; in 1893, 166,480 marks; in 1894, 148,759 marks; in 1895, 174,866 marks ; in 1896, 158,386 marks. The total silver production of Peru in 1896 is put at 3,300,000 oz. In 1897 the production of bar silver was estimated at 3,980,000 soles (1 sol. =24d) ; silver sulphides, 3,500,000 soles, and silver ores, 2,250,000 soles ; total silver, 9,730,000 soles. In 1897 the gold, copper, and lead exported amounted to 700,000 soles. Exports of silver not included in these figures probably amount to 600,000 soles, so that the total mineral produce in 1897 is about 11,000,000 soles.
Anthracite and bituminous coal fields are reported to exist in the province of Hualgayoe, about 120 miles from Pascamayo, and deposits of coal are known in the Huamachuco and other districts. Railways for the develop- ment of the coal fields are under consideration.
The foreign commerce of Peru, which is chiefly with Great Britain and Germany, is carried on from several ports, of which the principal are Callao, Paita, Eten, Salaverry.. Chimbote, Pisco, and Mollendo. In 1897 the imports amounted to 18,004,048 soles, and the exports to 31,025,382 soles ; 1896, imports, 17,505,148 soles ; exports, 25,473,663 soles. The chief exports are sugar, silver and silver ore, copper and copper ore, cotton, Avool, rubber, cocaine and coca leaves ; of cocaine 4,206 kilogrammes, and of coca leaves 493,679 kilogrammes, were exported in 1897, valued together at 1,173,066 soles.
The imports into Peru, are mainly from Great Britain (over one-third), Germany (about one-sixth), France, (about one-ninth), Chile, and the United States. The exports are mostly to Great Britain (more than half), and Chile (about one-fourth). According to a statement by the Minister of Finance, the imports from Great Britain in 1897 amounted to 6,831,969 soles, and the exports to Great Britain, to 15,648,310 soles. (In conversions of trade figures by the Peruvian Government the sol. = 48(^. ).
The commercial intercourse between Peru and the United Kingdom is shown in the subjoined tabular statement, for each of the last five years : —
Imports into United Kingdom from Peru
Exports of British produce to Peru .
£ 1,399,287 790,693
£ 1,070,949 554,018
£ 1,288,383 902,086
£ 1,453,627 728,211