THE MINERALS: GOLD
Surigao, in the old kingdom of Caraga, is rich in gold which is very widely disseminated. Father Llovera, a missionary who, in March, 1892, made an excursion up the River Siga to visit some unbaptized Mamanuas in the mountains, declares that the sands contain much gold, so much so that particles were plainly visible. This river takes its rise in the eastern Cordillera, between Cantilan and Jabonga, and runs in a north-easterly direction into the southern part of Lake Mainit. The missionary also declares that veins of gold were visible in some of the pieces of rock lying in the bed of the river, which they broke to examine. But he does not seem to have brought back any specimens, as one would expect.
His declaration is confirmed by Dr. Montano, a French traveller and skilled explorer, who however does not say that he saw the gold dust amongst the sand.
From Surigao to Gigaquil the people are engaged in washing the sands for gold.
Foreman states that for many months remittances of four or five pounds weight of gold were sent from Mindanao to a firm in Manila, and th^t it was alluvial gold from Surigao extracted by the natives.
Don Jos Centeno, Inspector of Mines, says in a report : " The most important workings effected in Surigao are in the Caninon-Binutong and Cansostral mountains, a day's journey from the town.
" These mountains consist of slaty talc much metamorphosed, and of serpentine. In the first are found veins of calcite and quartz from half-an-inch to three inches thick, in which especially in the calcite the gold is visible mixed with iron and copper pyrites, galena and blende. It is a remarkable circumstance that the most mineralized veins run always in an east and west direction, whilst the poor and sterile veins always follow another direction. The workings are entirely on the surface, as the abundance of water which flows to them prevents sinking shafts, and nothing is known of the richness at depth. Rich and sterile parts alternate, the gold being mostly in pockets. From one of the veins in Caninoro in a length of eighteen inches one hundred ounces of gold were taken."
Some time after this find, Messrs. Aldecoa e Co., a Manila firm, erected stamps at Surigao, and a certain amount of gold was sent up by every steamer to Manila, but in spite of the apparently favourable circumstances,Some time after this find, Messrs. Aldecoa e Co., a Manila firm, erected stamps at Surigao, and a certain amount of gold was sent up by every steamer to Manila, but in spite of the apparently favourable circumstances,