National Geographic : 1904 Aug
PERU-ITS RESOURCES This animal possesses characteristics greatly superior to those of the original. The wool is of better quality and of longer staple. It is as long as that of the alpaca and as smooth and silky as that of the vicufia. The animal is easily do mesticated. Today the raising of the paco-vicufia is one of the most important industries to be developed. The llama is of large size (6z2 feet high from the sole to the head) and the body is covered with a rough wool. It has existed in a state of domesticity from the earliest times. The Indians used it as a beast of burden many cen turies before the arrival of the Spaniards. It is a precious animal in every sense of the word. It possesses the power of walk ing whole days with a burden of 1oo pounds. This weight appears to be its normal burden, as if exceeded by only a few pounds the animal falls down as if to demonstrate that it is overburdened. As it takes its food while walking along, its pace is necessarily slow. It is so obedient that there is no need to use a stick. They are usually employed from the age of three years, and can be worked up to twelve years of age. About 60,000 bales of wool are pro duced annually, nearly all of which come from Cuzco and Puno. Peru is above all a mining country. The eminent naturalist, Raimondi, in his book, " Minerals of Peru," says: " The abundance and diversity of min erals that exist in Peru are truly pro digious. They are found in every one of its regions." For hundreds of years the great min eral wealth of Peru has been known to the civilized world. The extent and variety of the deposits are such that it is practically impossible to mention the mineral that does not exist there, and most of them in abundance. The new mining code, containing the most liberal laws, will give still greater impetus to the progress of mining in Peru. The exploitation of the mining industry is AND DEVELOPMENT 317 entirely open to all comers, without dis tinction of nationality. The only min ing tax is the half-yearly payment of $7.50 per claim. Each claim measures about io acres. Up to June 30, 1902, 6,380 claims had been registered in the " Padron General de Minas." The importation of machinery, im plements, and tools for mining purposes is duty free, as is also that of coal, dyna mite, timber, quicksilver, and also roll ing stock and all materials for use in the construction of railways. In writing of the Peruvian miners, Mr E. Lane, C. E., English mining engineer, says: "In comparing the labor of the Cholos or Indians with that of the Anglo-Saxon labor, the opinions differ much. The average daily rate of pay for the Cholo laborer is from 50 to 75 cents. The writer has come to the conclusion that as regards the relative cost of the work, there would not be much difference between them and the more highly paid Anglo-Saxon. Most of the skilled labor is done by foreigners or by people of foreign extraction. The Indian of the Sierra is mild and in offensive, willing to work, and easy to manage." Gold is found on the coast region of Peru, in veins of ferruginous quartz. In the mountainous districts of the Sierra it is present both as alluvial and in lodes, associated with silver and cop per. On the Montafia gold is found in the alluvial deposits along the slopes of the valleys, also in the rivers, and in the numerous veins crossing the formation of silurian rocks, which predominate in this vast zone. On the coast the richest region in gold is Camana ; in the Sierra, in Huanuco, Aymaraes, Cotabamba, etc., and in the Mantafia, in Pataz, Pau cartambo, Sandia, and Carabaya. A number of companies possessing modern machinery have been established to work these gold mines, among which the Inca Mining Company of Bradford, Pa., is prominent.