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north of Mandalay, have been worked by native methods from time immemorial. Caesar Frederick (1569 a.d.) notes that the king a also is Lord of the Mines of Rubies, sapphires and spinels1.a The rights of native miners have been preserved. But since 1886, the main work of extraction has been done by a Company with all the aids of science. The present plan is to wash and sift ruby earth (byon) till all
Fig* 35* Burmese washing for rubies.
foreign matter is eliminated and only rubies and spinels remain.
Salt is manufactured from sea-water and also from the numerous salt springs found in many parts of the country especially in lower Tertiary beds. The Great War gave an impetus to salt extraction, an industry which was discouraged till recently. In 1919, about 70,000 tons were extracted, but in 1921 the output had fallen to 43,000 tons. It is doubtful whether, in normal times, the local produce can compete with foreign salt.
1 Hakluyt, ii. 365.