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70   IN THE ACADIAN LAND.

a ton, over all the Province of Nova Scotia. Here on these Molega ores it is about twenty dollars, and since it is too fine to save in a stamp-mill it is lost, and can only be saved by a chemical process. This fine gold was entrapped in these base-metal crystals when they were formed from solutions that contained the dissolved silica and all its associates in the vein.

It will now be in order to say something about the origin of these quartz veins, that prove so useful to mankind that without them we would not be able to have gold and silver, and copper and tin, and antimony and zinc, and many other metals. Iron ore also occurs very largely in veins. The metals might have existed in the same quantities, and yet be either dissolved in water or scattered in minute quantities through vast strata of rocks. In just those conditions they once existed, and the ocean is the great storehouse of precious metals held in solution, and all the veins in the world contain but a very small percentage of what is distributed through the rocky crust. I know of no other natural feature that seems so clearly to indicate a preparation for the human race as these storehouses of metals — these hoards of needed material — brought together by the subtle action of chemical laws working with physical conditions of the crust


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