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Ch. 1: Gold in Ceylon

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100                                       GOLD IN CEYLON
panied with dolomite and encrusting and included in gneiss. The best speci­mens of it were of a pure snow-white, earthy texture, rather harsh to the touch, destitute of smell when breathed on, and not adhesive. A specimen of it, examined by Dr. Davy, contained 86 carbonate of magnesia, 5 water, 9 silica, with some slight traces of carbonate of lime.
This mineral is perhaps co-temporary with the rock in which it occurs, and not deposited subsequently from water. It has long been used by the natives of the adjoining country in whitewashing their temples. Talc is very rare in Ceylon. It has been met with at Dumbara in a nitre cave, where, with calcspar, felspar and quartz, it entered into the composition of a highly crystalline rock.
Calcspar, anhydrous gypsum, and calcsinter are the only pure calcareous minerals to be found in Ceylon. The two former, well crystallised, have been met with at Dumbara nitre cave. They occur in the compound rock just alluded to in reference to talc. Calcsinter is not uncommon; encrusting rocks of dolomite and gneiss, it abounds in Matale, and is plentiful in Lower Uva and in many places in the vicinity of dolomite rock, from which in all probability it is derived.
There are two kinds of the inflammable class of minerals that occur in Ceylon, graphite and sulphur. Graphite in minute scales is very commonly disseminated through gneiss, and it occasionally occurs imbedded in this rock in small masses. In the latter form, it is found to some extent in parts of Upper Saffragam, and might probably be found in sufficient quantity to be collected and exported profitably. Sulphur is extremely rare in Ceylon, indeed its very existence is not indisputably proved. A specimen of this mineral was some time ago picked up in Dumbara, which contained a large portion of sulphate, a small portion of sulphate of iron, and slight traces of alum. The stone itself was composed chiefly of quartz, felspar and oxide of iron, and of some grey crystalline grains. Had the specimen been broken from a rock, little room for doubt would have remained, but even as the case stood, it appeared more likely to be native sulphur than an artificial accidental im­pregnation, for which indeed it would be almost impossible tu account. The mineral productions occurring in the dolomite rock are of two kinds, those peculiar to it and hitherto found in no other rock in Ceylon, and those com­mon to it and to granitic rock. Belonging to the latter, the following minerals may be enumerated :—Iron pyrites, mica, white clay, probably derived from the decomposition of felspar and graphite. With the exception of mica, none of these minerals are common or abundant in dolomite. The mica is generally of a light brown or straw-colour, translucent and crystallised in small six-sided prisms. The minerals peculiar to dolomite are three in number, Ceylanite, apatite and a bright yellow mineral, perhaps a variety of cinnamon-stone. Ceylanite is pretty abundant in this rock, and very generally disseminated through it. It occurs crystallized and amorphous, and exhibits a variety of colours, as bright azure-blue, resembling the blue sapphire, violet, pink-red, grey and white. Its crystals are generally very small. The fine sapphire blue Ceylanite is almost confined to one locality. Of the pink-red, some good speci­mens have been met with from a vein of dolomite in Saffragam, on the banks of a stream that flows into the Kalu-ganga. Ceylanite of the other colours is common particularly in the dolomite rock near Kandy and Badulla, where it generally occurs amorphous, or very indistinctly crystallised. Apitite, of a bright sapphire-blue colour, is frequently to be seen in dolomite, disseminated in very minute particles. It occurs in one place well crystallised, in six-sided prisms in a few places. The bright yellow mineral, perhaps, a variety of the cinnamon-stone, which it resembles in its general properties, and has never been seen crystallished, is not uncommon in dolomite in the vicinity of Kandy. This result is difficult to ascertain from the small particles in which it is found. Though, then, the number of minerals hitherto found in dolomite rock is
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