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Nitrate of Cobalt on Platina.—A very pale and somewhat dirty lilac colour, not approaching to the blue of alumina at all.
With Borax, in considerable proportion of assay to the flux, and at both flames a perfectly colourless and transparent glass.
With Soda.-A dead white enamel : clear red glass in the flame.
Phosphate of Soda.--Opaque pearly bead, which when very small is a semi-transparent crackly one.
Via Humida.—It is insoluble or nearly so in sulphuric and in nitric acids, which last sometimes gelatinises it.
It is insoluble in the fixed alkalies and ammonia, but seems partly so when newly precipitated, in carbonate of ammonia.
Its proper solvent is boiling nitro-hydrochloric acid, with which it crystallises when a nearly saturated solution, in fine brilliant silky or pearly points and needles, which have a sweetish astringent taste like the salts of Glucina and Yttria.
The ferro-cyanate of Potassium does not precipitate it.
From the minute quantities in which I have been able to obtain the pure earth, and the almost microscopic nature of the assays and testings, and the different characters it presents from all the known earths, I cannot venture at present to pronounce what it may be ; and indeed would not even now publish my analysis did I not conceive it just towards Captain Newbold to do so, for there is no sort of doubt that, whatever the earth may be, he has discovered a new and a very remarkable mineral, which is a double Sulphuret of Iron and an earth! We must wait for larger specimens to decide what the earth is.
The locality of this mineral (which should have been noted at the beginning of the paper,) is in the central range of the Eastern Ghats, between Cummum in Cuddapah, and Gograpilly in Kurnool, a little south of the Cunnama pass. Captain Newbold says of it :-" The formation is the great diamond sand-stone which here passes
into arenaceous and argillaceous slates. In the latter occur the veins in which the mineral are found, consisting chiefly of the carbonate of Cerium described in a former paper, in the Journal.
“ It is associated with lead-ore (galena) which occurs in nests and
short seams, and the latter ore has in former times been diligently sought after by the natives. Numerous and half-choked up excavations are met with in the surrounding hilly jungly tracts, attesting a perseverance and spirit of research which is rarely met with in the present occupiers of the soil.
“ Near the Western mouth of the pass in the vicinity of Bussurapoor and Gograpilly, are a large number of old diamond pits, sunk in beds of ground evidently derived from the plumbiferous sandstone composing the adjacent Eastern Ghats. These gravel beds, from a careful examination of the pebbles composing them, appear to have been formed for the most part by aqueous causes no longer in action. The present insignificant streams that carry off the Ghat drainage could never have spread out to such an extent as these gravel beds cover, so large a quantity of transported and detrital matter. The large size of the pebbles, the depth and present situation of the diamond beds, all militate against the supposition of their being composed of recent alluvium or detritus, now in process of accumulation.”
Extracts from a letter from Capt. Jas. Abbott, descriptive of his Geological and Mineralogical Observations in the Huzaree district,
dated Camp Puhli, in Huzaree, 19th June, 1817. I have now the pleasure to send you some specimens of what I conceive to be black iron ore, in small rounded masses of crystalline structure. I have with me no acids nor other tests, and my reason for supposing this an iron ore, is simply that the crystals are tetrahedral prisms, of dark brown color, and that the specific gravity seems to agree with that of the ore in question.
Whatever these ores may be, they occur in a very interesting formation of sandstone and blue mountain limestone, which commencing at the spur of a very lofty summit called Moachpoora, about 10 miles west of the Jelum, stretches W. S. W. about 40 miles, gradually dwindling in altitude and in the number of its parallel ridges, until from having been a triple mountain, it has become a single hill of trifling altitude, intersected at Margrella by the main road from Lahore to Attok.
At the south-eastern foot of this extended ridge, large boulders of iron ore are found intermixed with the debris of lime and sandstone of the adjacent mountain. The iron ore is of the black kind, and I should suppose, from its specific gravity, tolerably rich in metal. The great abundance of wood and of limestone offers facilities for the establishment of a foundery,-a thing greatly needed in upper India, and the accessibility of the spot to wheeled carriage and the neighbourhood of the river Jelum at the town of that name, ensures the manufacturers the benefit of water carriage to Feeroozpoor, Loodiana, Bukhur and Bombay. This iron ore occurs in the main summit of the formation, Moachpoora, where Mr. Vans Agnew, in his late adventurous journey amongst the Dhoonds, saw it worked after the rude fashion of the hill tribes.
The ridges of mountain to which I particularly allude as having been visited by myself, are called Serra. They are from 800 to about 2000 feet higher than the valley of Rawulpindi. The blue limestone is veined with vivid streaks of white, and is found in enormous masses as cliffs or disjected rocks. It will take a good polish, and if worked, might supply the whole of our upper provinces, as well as the Punjaub, with marble chimney pieces, pavements, and material for monumental sculpture. Water is very abundant, gushing in copious streams from near the summit, and of volume sufficient to turn the wheel of a sawmill. The climate is singularly happy during the greater part of the year. The long mountain ridge intercepts the violent hot winds from the west, which on scaling its summit are tempered by the cooler strata above, and roll tumultuously down the eastern declivity, with the roar of a cascade; even then their force at that point is not very considerable. During the latter months of the rainy season parts of the hill skirt are considered unfavorable to health. Others, as Noorpoor Shahi, (a beautiful nook in the mountain) have a good reputation. The mountain itself, which is thickly wooded with box, barberry, wild pomegranate, and at the summit with fir, is habitable at a short distance from that point, and would afford a very cool residence. But the mountain is by no means worthy of recommendation as a general resort, the ridge being too sharp to afford building room and the spurs being short and abrupt. It has at present a bad name, as the resort of robbers.
From these mountains there ooze out three remarkable springs, one bearing upon its waters a scum of Asphaltum-another being impregnated with carburetted sulphate of iron, and the third having a mucilaginous consistence, being of the color of orange pulp, and if scented,
being rather pleasant to the nostrils. I express doubt, because the scent may perhaps have been derived from the bottle containing the liquid. Torches are made of the Asphalt. The second is drunk for indigestion. The use of the third is unknown. The latter I should have pronounced mucilage from decaying vegetation, had it not remained several days in a close bottle at a temperature of 95° without fermenting. The smell of the mineral water is scarcely sufferable.
From the occurrence of bitumen I have been led to anticipate the discovery of coal, and a day or two ago I stumbled upon a large boulder of crystals of lime containing lignite, of which I have the pleasure to send you a small specimen. This was in the Puhli valley Iluzara, about 40 miles north of the mountains of Serra. Coal would be quite useless here, where wood is superabundant : but its position in any given country is always an important enquiry.
The stratification of this formation is nearly vertical. The course of the ridge an azimuth of about 27°. Eastward the ridges, which fall into the plains, were of sandstone, wherever I came in contact with them, from Rawul Pindi, to Noorpoor : a sandstone running in parallel ridges nearly vertical, filled with sandy debris, which when washed away by the torrents, leave natural walls of rock of the most singular appearance. In this sandstone I have never discovered traces of organic remains.
The supposed iron ore is found on hills formed of debris of the lime and sandstone rocks, and lying northward of the Serra Ridges, about a mile from the left bank of Hurroo river. I could not detect any strata, the masses seemed to be scattered at random through the soil. I collected about 5 or 6 lbs. of it in the course of an hour, with the assistance of my servants. But I should doubt there being any vein in that locality that would pay the working. It must be remembered that there are masses which have been washed out in the course of hundreds of years. If I can find means of packing the Asphalt, I will do myself the pleasure to send it you. It may possibly differ in some respects from the same substance elsewhere found. I fear the other liquids would not bear the carriage.
Mr. Vans Agnew, Civil Service, and Boundary Commissioner, he just left me on an expedition northward, which promises to be interesting to science. Lieut. Young of Engineers, accompanies him.
Notice of the Cave Temples and Emerald Mines of Sakeyt, in the
eastern desert of Egypt. By HEKEKYAN BEY.—Communicated by Captain NEWBOLD, M. N. I.
The following notice of the temples and emerald mines of Sakeyt, was communicated to me by my friend Hekekyan Bey, late president of the Ecole Polytechniqne at Cairo, and brother-in-law to the Pasha's minister-Artim Bey.
Hekekyan Bey was educated in England, is an accomplished English, French, and Italian scholar ; and well acquainted with the Turkish, Persian, Greek and Arabic tongues. His attainments in Geology, Mineralogy, Mechanics and Natural Philosophy are very considerable, and he has lately been employed by the Pasha in superintending the researches for coal in Egypt. He is one of the Presidents of the Egyptian Society in Cairo, and distinguished as being the most zealous and influential patron of literature and science in the land of the Pharoahs and Ptolemies.
It is with much pleasure that I embrace the present opportunity of thanking him for the gratification and instruction derived in the many agreeable hours I had the good fortune to pass in his society during my residence in Cairo. The following notes are nearly literal extracts from his rough journal, which were kept in English and French ; and daily written out with his own hand. IIe proceeded in June 1811, from the emerald, or rather chrysolite mines, of Zubára, described by other writers, to those of Sakeyt, distant about 12 hours' travelling by the Rieh ul Allawi, Oum Gemil, and the Rich ul Talik. About seven hours from Zubára up a Rhawdi, on the right side of Wadi Gemil, he found the ruins of an ancient station, with cisterns, mills and old gold mines excavated in veins of quartz in inica slate.
The ruins of the ancient mining town of Sakeyt are scattered on the brows of hills of mica slate walling the valley, which is about 500 ft. broad, and runs N. N. W.-distant from the summit of Gebel Sakeyt about 2 miles. There are here several rock cut temples ; the principal of which is excavated in the schistose rock on the left side of the Wadi, and runs E. S. E., having a central altar at that extremity, on which is inscribed a triangle. The interior is whitewashed, and an illegible Greek inscription in red ochre is seen on the wall on the right