Page:Transactions of the Geological Society, 1st series, vol. 2.djvu/331

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of the Mines of Cornwall and Devon.

the most of their talents by looking after pitches, which though unproductive in present appearance, may improve in working, is owing a great proportion of the lesser discoveries constantly made, and which contribute in no small degree to the profit of the adventurers.

The tribute work of Cornwall may be thought to be similar to what is done in many other mines, as in Derbyshire, where the men raise the ore at what is called a cape, or at a certain sum for every ton of ore they may produce. But it will appear that though this approaches to the Cornish plan, yet that it falls very short of it.

The payment in Cornwall being in exact proportion to the selling value of the ores, which is there settled very accurately according to the metal contained in them, not only instigates the miner to discover and produce as much as he can, but leads him to consider every circumstance which may diminish the expence of returning it, or may enable him to produce the greatest quantity of each metal at the lowest charge of dressing as well as raising.

The tributor's account is charged with tools, materials, and money, in the same way as that of the tutwork men, and they are likewise debited with the wages of the persons employed to dress their ores. The credit side of their account is not closed until the ore is actually sold and weighed off to the smelting companies who may purchase from the mine, as the value of every tributor's parcel is compared with the aggregate assay and sale, before they are settled with, and the differences, if any, divided among the whole, by an increase or drawback on each.

In the copper mines, when a tributor's parcel of ore is ready, it is weighed off by one of the captains, and turned over to the general heap, or as it is called, the public parcel, at the same time

Vol. II.2 s