Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition.djvu/787

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COMMERCE — COMMUNICATIONS 431

Production and Industry.

Agiiculture is iii a backward condition. "Wheat, maize, Larley, beans, potatoes, are produced for local consumption, and coflee is exported to Chile and Argentina. Sugar is grown for the purpose of distillation, but much more is imported from Peru. The production of rubber is increasing, and cinchona and coca are important products. Cattle, sheep, and llamas are numerous. The wool produce is woven into coarse cloth for the use of the Indians. Llamas are cm]doyed for transport purposes.

The mineral wealth of Bolivia includes silver, cop])er, tin, lead, zinc, anti- mony, bismuth, gold, and borax. Tlic chief silver mines with their output in 1894, as deduced from the reports of the companies and the Government report of silver dues collected in the year, were as follows (the silver, whether in ores or bars, being exjjressed in standard ounces): Huanchaca, 8,468,727 oz. ; Colquechaca, 1,333,318 oz. ; Oruro, 1,518,058 oz. ; Guadaloupe, 652,010 oz. ; Royal Silver Mines, 365,549 oz. ; five districts 'lecitados,' 2,181,034 oz. ; total, 14,519,296 oz. In 1895 and 1896 there was a considerable falling off in the production, especially in the Hiianchaca district, where in 1895 the silver produced amounted to about 4,500,000 oz., and in 1896 to about 3,200,000 oz. Next in importance is tin, which is produced in lar^e tpiantities on the border of the table-land extending south from Lake Titicaca. Tlie chief tin-mining centre is in the Huanuni district, Init the metal is found almost wherever silver is worked. The annual production of concentrated tin ore is about 4,000 tons. In 1895 about 2,000 tons were also exported in bars. Copper of line quality is found in the Corocoro district, the annual output, in the form of barilla, being about 3,000 tons. Gold is found in small quantities throughout Bolivia, both in rivers and in quartz reefs, but its production is limited to washings by Indians. Large deposits of common salt are found near Lake Poopo and in the south of Bolivia ; and mineral oil is also met with.

Commerce.

Bolivia having no seaport, imports and exports jDass chiefly throucrh Arica, Mollendo, Antofagasta, and the eastern river-jjorts Porto Suarez and Villa Bella. The Argentine route through Salta is now little used. Official statistics of trade are fragmentary, but for 1897 the total imports are estimated at the value of 24,467,100 boliviano.s, and the exports at 23,121,320 bolivianos. The chief imports are provision.s, hardware, wines and spirits, cotton, woollen, linen and silk goods, and ready-made clothes. The import trade is chiefly in the hands of Germans, but English o-oods are largely introduced. The chief exports in 1897 Avere silver, 14^876,000 bolivianos ; tin and bismuth, 3,821,000 ; copper, 2,650,000 ; rubber, 1,351,000. Bolivian official statistics are compiled simply on the basis of quaiititi'es on which duties are paid, but extensive shipments of silver produced and coined in the country, and of rubber, take place at the river-})orts without the cogni.sance of the cu.stoms authorities. The rubber export is put at 7,579/. from Villa Bella, and this export goes on increa.sing. Other exports are wool, hides and skins, gold, coffee, coca, and cinchona.

Communications.

A railway connects the Chilian port of Antofagasta with the Bolivian frontier at Ascotan, and it thence proceeds as far as Uyuni in Bolivian territory ; from Uyuni there is a branch to Huanchaca and the extension to