Page:Transactions of the Geological Society, 1st series, vol. 2.djvu/320

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Mr. Taylor on the Economy

The mines of England have no assistance from the government, but must rely for their success upon their own resources, and the spirit and energy of their owners; and it is probably to this cause that we may attribute the activity and economy which, when their constitutions are duly examined, may be found to prevail in the principal mining districts.

The peculiar system invented and gradually improved to its present state in the mines of Cornwall, and more recently adopted in the undertakings of the same kind in the adjoining county, so completely answer the purpose of combining the interests of the working miner with those of his employer, that if benefit is to be expected from such a plan, it is worth describing, as a, detail which may furnish hints that may prove useful to all who are interested in the subject.

The economy of a mine may be considered under the following general heads:

1.—The nature of the agreements between the owner of the soil and the mine adventurers.

2.—The arrangements between the partners or adventurers themselves, and the system of controul and management appointed by them.

3.—The mode of employing and paying the miners and workmen, in use among the agents of the principal concerns.

4.—The purchase of materials for carrying on the undertaking.

5.—The sale of the ores from the mine adventurers to the smelting companies.

In reviewing the whole system, it may appear that there are parts subject to censure as well as others worthy of imitation; but the detail will not be the less useful on this account, and it is to be understood that different mines in the Stannaries vary from each