1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Cerro de Pasco

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CERRO DE PASCO, or Pasco, a mining town of Peru, capital of the department of Junin, 107 m. (221 m. by rail, via Oroya) N.E. of Lima. Pop. (1907 est.) 10,000. It is situated on the plateau of Bombon, 14,280 ft. above sea-level, and in the midst of one of the oldest and richest silver-mining districts of Peru. There were 342 silver mines in this district in 1890, and at the end of the 19th century the average annual output since the discovery of the mines in 1630 was estimated at 1,600,000 oz. A decline in the silver production having set in, the American company which had become owners of three-fourths of the mining properties in the district turned its attention to the extensive copper deposits there, built a railway to Oroya 83 m. distant, another, 25 m. long, to the coal-fields of Gollarisquisga, north of Pasco, and then erected large smelting works (in which 2500 men were regularly employed in 1907) 8 m. out of town and 4 m. from limestone beds. The railway to Oroya was completed in 1903, the coal mine branch and smelter later on, and in 1907 the copper output was 20,152,000 ℔ The town of Pasco is badly built and unattractive, and is inhabited chiefly by mining labourers and their families. Its population is increased 50% in times of great mining activity. The name Cerro de Pasco is that of a “knot” of mountains uniting the two great ranges of the Andes at this point.