- Dec 4, 2008
The Gold House, The Discovery, page 131. 1939 assay of Noss bullion bar:
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Copper ~70%, Gold ~20%, Silver ~10%. Damned rich copper bars. Roughly matches typical early crudely smelted copper bullion shipments from Santa Rita del Cobre to Chihuahua, from the mid 1700s to 1830s. Lots of gold in the oxidized zone in the early days at Chino.
From one of several New Mexico Historical Review articles:
"... The 300,000 pounds of ore arriving in Ciudad Chihuahua, assuming a 60 percent assay, would have yielded $117,000 (at 65 cents per pound) in annual gross profits for Elguea. After costs for mules, muleskinners, and miners, a handsome net profit no doubt was left, as well as income from gold and silver extracted from the ore...."
Additionally, there have always been differences of opinion surrounding the amount of copper bullion delivered to Chihuahua from Santa Rita. Most reliable records seem to date from ca. 1800, despite the fact that the mine was in operation for decades prior to that date. No one has proven that the Noss assay bar came from Santa Rita, but neither has anyone identified the mine that produced the bar. Since I don't rely on coincidences to explain events, it seems quite plausible to me that the Noss bars were cast in Santa Rita. In any event, the Noss bars clearly were copper bars.
Crow was good enough to introduce us to a most interesting resource - The Mining History Journal. Perhaps you were already familiar with it - I certainly wasn't.
With your interest in Santa Rita del Cobre, I thought you might want to take a look at:
All the article are free on their website - very generous.
Good luck to all,
The Old Bookaroo