Page:Transactions of the Geological Society, 1st series, vol. 2.djvu/335

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of the Mines of Cornwall and Devon.

ing and by calculating the market price of the metal and the smelting charges they govern their affairs.

The meeting is attended by the agents and adventurers of the mines as well as by the agents of the copper companies, and one of the former usually presides. The officers for each parcel of ore are made by the buyers' agents handing to the chairman a note or ticket containing a fixed price per ton, he opens and reads out the whole, when the highest offer is at once declared the purchaser.

The ores remain on the mine for a given time, when an agent of the copper company attends to weigh them, and they are afterwards conveyed to the coast for shipping to Wales.

Copper ores do not bear a price exactly proportioned to the quantity of metal they contain, some ores being more intractable in the fire than others or yielding copper of an inferior quality.

From repeated experiment the smelting companies know the effect that the mixture of particular ores has in the furnace upon each other, depending on the nature of the mineralizing substance or the kind of matrix which enters into the mass. On this account they regulate their offers by the quality of the stock they have on hand, or they manage so as to purchase ores from mines which may best suit to mix with others which they have previously bought. Thus it is well known that the produce of some mines does not bring the price that its proportion of metal would entitle it to, while that of others, more esteemed by the smelters, always bears a higher relative value.

It remains to say a few words on the subject of mines considered as property, particularly as shares in these undertakings are now frequently bought and sold at a distance from the districts in which they are situate, and as their value is not often appreciated according to correct data.