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of the Chuchumatanes Mountain range, at Todos Santos, the same mineral formations we find at Chiantla again break out, the veins or deposits being somewhat bolder in their surface croppings, averaging from 60 to 70 per cent lead and from $25 to $45 in silver. A group of these mines is owned by Mr. Franciscobaleg Mont, who has made some shallow explorations on them, developing large bodies of argentiferous lead ores, which already improve in silver at the slight depth he has run down on them. Strong natural fountains of saline waters burst out at San Mateo, Ixtatan, and Pichiquil. They are being operated on a rude, primitive scale, and produce an excellent grade of salt, which finds a home market at remunerative prices in the immediate population.

The same argentiferous lead belt follows the line of contact between the limestone and syenite and talc formations in an easterly direction, and forms another group of mines of the same character at Santa Cruz de Mushtli, on the south fork of the Passion River, in the municipality of Salama. My attention was called to a vast deposit of this class of ore located in a sharp peak on the east bluff of the river, which had every appearance of being the ragged remains of an extinct volcano that in its last eruptions had vomited up a flow of molten lead, mixed with a small percentage of carbonate of lime, and in the course of the flow had congealed into large bowlders of pure lead metal. A marked depression, or basin, on the top of the peak represented the outlines of a crater. Here bowlders of the metal lay in heavy masses, as though they had been heaved in a liquid state, granulated into masses, and cooled just as the action ceased. From the slight exploration made at this point it seemed to develop a large chimney of ore that might reach down to a great depth-to the fountain head or initial beds of metal that produced this phenomenal flow on the mountain side. The test assays run from $10 to $60 in silver and 80 per cent in lead. This same mineral formation extends on further east along the Chuchumatanes range, and is lost in the unknown wilds of the Lacandon country. To say the least of this silver-lead belt, it is a wonderful showing of mineral on the surface, and the attendant geological features are most favorable for large and permanent bodies of ores and an improvement in the percentage of silver in the downward tendency of the veins or deposits.

Further west, in the lower Pacific slopes, there occur heavy beds of fine, loose gravel, bearing 2 and 3 ounce nuggets of pure lead. These nuggets seem to be plentifully diffused throughout these beds, and, as far as I could ascertain, were extensive. The rare occurrence of pure lead in this natural state may be accounted for on the theory that the fiery action of some neighboring volcanoes had encountered a lead vein in its eruptive course, and had reduced and refined its ores by its underground fires, and in its inward throes had cast up the molten metal, which, on reaching the cool air, granulated into these small virgin nuggets

and had settled countless ages ago in the sedimentary beds where we now find them. Lying, as they do, near a coast port, they might be exploited to an advantage.

Cinnabar ore is reported to have been found in the municipality of San Marcos, and also tin ores near Malactan. Some excellent salt springs break on the Salama River. The waters yield a high percentage of first-class salt, and, if systematically operated, could be made to yield a handsome revenue. Two large deposits of black lead, or plumbago, exist, one about 15 miles north of Huehuetenango and the other about the same distance south. The mineral is of an excellent variety, clear of grit, and ready for commerce.

In the department of Quiche tradition places a gold mine of fabulous richness somewhere in the mountains of Illon, which was discovered and worked in the colonial days of the Jesuit priests. The old canonical archives speak in unmistakable terms of its existence, and the wonderful richness of the gold output realized by the church and the royal crown from 1627 down to the close of the century, when, from political convulsions and hostility of the Indians, the operations were abandoned; and it has since been so far neglected that it is now known only in tradition. The natives of that locality possess the secret of the location of the mine, but are a very exclusive people and threaten with death anyone of their race who would dare reveal the secret. On one occasion President Barrios succeeded in obtaining a specimen from the mine from one of the tribe, which proved of such extreme richness, and the story relative to the mine so direct, that he was so thoroughly convinced of the reality of the tradition that he used every effort to unearth the secret, and finally induced the same Indian to lead one of his trusty agents to the mine, but before reaching the place their tracks were dogged by these jealous Indians and the guide murdered; and thus the prospective golden treasure remains an unsolved problem for some ambitious prospector to work out in the future. Marble of a superior quality, alabaster, and immense beds of gypsum are also found in this department.

The department of Baja Vera Paz has claimed my attention for the past three months, and I find the geological formation of that portion to which I devoted my examination highly favorable to the existence of the precious and useful metals. I found well-defined auriferous gravel beds at different points along the banks of the Rio Grande, showing a fair average prospect of heavy, coarse gold. The little development I found here had been confined to the immediate banks cut down by the river channel, by scooping out the gold-bearing gravel from the upper surface and patiently washing it in rude wooden bateas, or bowls. Seventyfive of these bateas averaged about $5 in nice, clean gold. It does not seem that there has been any attempt to properly explore any of these auriferous gravel beds. In many places the flats extend back from the river banks to a considerable

distance toward the hills or bluffs, giving an

extensive area for placer

ground. The gold-bearing gravel beds generally lie deeply capped by alluvial deposits, and consequently drifting in on the beds would be the most feasible way of mining them; and, as the gravel is clear of clay, some simple gold-washing device would easily eliminate the sands and other matter from the gold at a trifling outlay of labor. A little energy and enterprise expended in prospecting these grounds might be well repaid. The river at its lowest stage would afford all the hydraulic power that would ever be required in extensive placer operations.

Good croppings of sulphurets of silver and carbonates of copper are found in the adjacent foothills above the Panahigh placers.

Along the south slopes of the range of mountains that runs parallel to the Rio Grande there extends a mica belt for a considerable distance. The line of this rare mineral is very distinctly marked, strikingly similar to that of our best mica formations in North Carolina, the chief source of supply of this mineral in the United States. The ever-present serpentine and foliated rock structure, the light-colored gneiss, and the micaceous schists, with frequent and indefinite alternation of the talcose slates, clearly define the line of this mineral, upon which at intervals good, strong croppings of mica break out, and where, exposed by gulch erosions, show veins or deposits from 6 to 10 feet in width, studded thickly with large bunches or blocks of mica firmly fixed in the gangue rock of the ledge, giving every evidence of permanency.

These blocks are of the finest laminated structure, clear as crystal, and entirely free from foreign substance that so often detracts from the value of this mineral. These blocks of mica would probably yield 15 per cent in cut commercial mica sheets, averaging from 2 by 4 to 6 by 12 inches in size. The refuse of the blocks and the smaller sheets would furnish a large quantity of clean mica that could be profitably utilized by grinding up into flour mica for export, as the uses of ground mica are yearly increasing. I will not fail to note that frequently the sheets in some of the blocks exhibited beautiful figures of variegated colorings, shaded with blue, green, red, and yellow, happily blended in the most delicate tints, which, on a thorough fire test, proved to be a fast-coloring matter. This class of mica, when colors become more solid, commands fancy prices.

As there has been no development on any of these deposits or veins beyond the prizing or tearing out a few blocks from the ledges by the natives, who split out the largest sheets, which they use in decorating their patron saints and adorning their church altars, it was difficult to form a definite idea of the walling or inclosing rock of the veins or their depth, dip, or strike; but from the best examination that could be made under the circumstances the mineral area seemed to be inclosed on one side by mica schists and on the other by porphyritic gneiss

the gangue rock or fissure filling was mostly of coarse granite, and in some places mixed with coarse quartzite, in which the forces of crystallization had met with comparatively little resistance.

In the process of formation the crystals had developed to the large size we find them here on the mere surface, and had been the result of aqueous, rather than igneous, origin. In this connection, I would say that, from careful and longcontinued observation on the subject of mica vein formation in the country, the vein structural formation which we find here has a most favorable influence on the width, depth, and permanency of mica veins or deposits, and doubtless below the zone of atmospheric influences, which usually is from 10 to 20 feet, the veins will become more solid and the quality of the mica will correspondingly improve. A company has been recently organized, and has preëmpted or denounced the main deposits of the Chol group, and are preparing for a systematic development. From the great quantity of mica in sight they will doubtless soon have a product ready for market.

Running parallel with the line of the mica area there are found veins of asbestus and deposits of plumbago. The asbestus is of the fine textile variety, and seems free from all foreign substances, varying in color from deep gray to snow whiteness, the fiber measuring from 1 to 3 feet in length. The plumbago lies in irregular deposits, showing considerable quantities on the surface, and is of a clean quality.

In the vicinity of Ravinal and Cabulco are found undeveloped silver and copper ledges. The silver veins are small on the surface, but in good primary formation, being fair-grade lead sulphurets. The copper veins are small, but the ore is of the finest kind of malachites. Loadstone and immense deposits of high

grade magnetic iron ores, also large gypsum deposits, lie in the same locality. In Alta Vera Paz, near San Cristobal, there is a group of lead mines carrying a light percentage of silver, which, though small, would pay for separation on a large scale. These mines are worked for the lead alone, and supply the entire ordnance department of the Government. Thus this silver-lead bullion is destined to be improvidently manufactured into bullets, to be expended in bloody human conflicts, instead of being refined and coined up to win the battles of peaceful human industry.

Near Coban are extensive chalk beds of a most excellent quality, which are mined, and the product prepared into neat crayons, that supply all the schools. and colleges of the Republic with this useful article. Native mercury has been discovered in the mountains north of Coban. Specimens of float rock taken from the same locality proved to be the gray sulphurets of mercury. No explorations have yet been made to discover the ledge. Quantities of bitumen are found in beds in the eastern section of the department, which is strongly charged with

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