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rocky and with scant vegetation. Broadly speaking, the ranges diminish in altitude as one travels from the north to the south.
The first investigator into the mineral resources of Shansi was a German scholar, Baron von Richthofen. In connection with extensive journeys through all China to determine the industrial possibilities, this indefatigable explorer traveled across Shansi in 1870, approaching from the south and following the great central highway of the province from Pingyangfu to Jaiyuanfu, the provincial capital. He returned some months later for a second visit, reaching on that occasion the northern districts of the province. It is certain that he did not see a great part of the bituminous coal field of Shansi, but he saw the best-known portions of the anthracite field. He also investigated some of the districts where iron is produced. He concluded that the eastern half of the province over-lay a vast bed of anthracite, while in the western half there were extensive bituminous formations, the two fields being separated by the basin of the Fên River. However, the writer has found bituminous mines in the very center of what von Richthofen described as the anthracite field, and there are other indications that the respective fields may not be as regular in outline as he thought. It is probably true, too, that von Richthofen under-estimated rather than overestimated the bituminous fields. Certain very rich districts he did not visit at all. But he was evidently very greatly impressed by what he saw, and wrote that "there is coal enough in Shansi to last the world for thousands of years at the present rate of consumption." A recent writer has said that the anthracite deposits of Shansi alone are equal to all the anthracite deposits of the United States.
The information von Richthofen gave naturally drew some attention to the mineral wealth of Shansi. For a long time, however, no effort was made either by the foreigners or by the Chinese themselves, aside from the crude methods already in vogue, to exploit this mineral wealth. The conditions of transportation, the lack of markets in north China, and the fact that China was still a sealed land, made it
impossible to act upon the information von Richthofen gave for many years. The year 1898 saw far-reaching changes imminent in north China, following the reform program of the Emperor Kuang Hsü. In that year a mining concession in Shansi was granted to the Peking Syndicate. The overthrow of the reform party, and the reactionary policy of the government which followed, culminating in the so-called "Boxer rebellion" in 1900, kept the Syndicate from beginning the development of its concession. Later, however, as the railway from Chêngtingfu to Taiyuanfu penetrated the eastern ranges of Shansi, so affording an outlet by rail to Peking and Tientsin, the Syndicate began to open up its field. Experts were sent in to make careful investigations, especially in the department of Pingting. A base was established in that department and houses erected for the foreign staff.
About this time the Chinese themselves awoke to the possibilities of the concession they had given. The terms of the concession were manifestly not liberal to the Chinese. They made it practically impossible for the native mine-owners to work their mines by modern methods, or for native capital to open up new mines. An agitation against the Syndicate was begun, given some dramatic touches by the students in the provincial capital, and carried to an issue that the people of Shansi esteemed successful when, in 1907, the Syndicate was ousted from the province. The concession was given up, but the people of the province indemnified the Peking Syndicate to the amount of 2,750,000 taels. Every sincere wellwisher of China must regret that this outcome was necessary. Had the terms of the concession been fair and liberal to the Chinese, the Peking Syndicate might today be in possession of its concession, at work in that magnificent field, and paying regular dividends to satisfied and happy stockholders.
Prior to the ousting of the Peking Syndicate the Chinese themselves had organized a company, called, the "Pao Chin Kung Ssu," i.e., the "Corporation for the Protection of Shansi," Chin being an ancient name of Shansi. This company took over the buildings erected by the Peking
Syndicate in the Pingting department and endeavored to supersede that corporation in its program for that field. It employed as its foreign engineer a young man whose chief qualifications for the office were that he had lived a good many years in China and spoke the Chinese language. That he knew nothing of mining engineering was, evidently, not considered a disability. Under the guidance of this expert (?) the corporation did not make any great progress, at least in adopting modern methods of working. The engineer traveled extensively throughout the district, but left neither maps of his journeys nor memoranda of his investigations. The company bought coal delivered by pack-animals at the railway stations, and sold it in yards opened in Peking and Tientsin. That is the method being followed today. The area from which the coal is drawn is comparatively limited, and the methods of mining employed are still of thecrudest.
In the district of Hsiao-yi, 80 miles southwest of the provincial capital, a company of Chinese has installed modern machinery for pumping and hoisting. The cost of transporting the machinery from the coast was enormous and installing it was a long and expensive process. The German engineers sent to supervise the installation of the machinery were far from being experts in that line of work. In due time they turned the mines over to the Chinese again and with a result as inevitable as it was deplorable. Success in hoisting unheard of quantities of coal led to experiments in the lower levels of the mine. Props gave way, fifty or sixty lives were crushed out, the mine was flooded, and a lot of expensive machinery is rusting in and about that pit.
The natives have both surface and pit mines in Shansi. In the latter the coal is hoisted with a windlass, turned by animal power or by hand. In one mine I have visited, the only light possible in the pit is from lighted sticks of punk, giving an illumination considerably less than the glowing tip of a cigar. Labor under such conditions must be extremely difficult. In this mine the men were paid a wage 20 per cent in advance of the cost of other lines of manual labor in that region, yet an excellent quality of soft coal sold at the pit's mouth at the equivalent of 90 cents a ton. When the
competition was keener the price had been as low as 60 cents a ton.
The chief iron producing districts of the province are the prefecture of Tsêhchow in the southwest, and the department of Pingting in the east, the latter tapped by the narrow-guage Chêng-ting-Taiyuan railway. Other iron deposits are in the Yungning and Ninghsiang districts in the west of the province, where some pig-iron of poor quality is produced, and used locally, and in the Ningwu prefecture in the north of the province. The Tsêhchow and Pingting fields have been quite extensively worked in the crude native fashion; its must be, however, that they are capable of great development under improved methods.
While speaking of the mineral wealth of the province we must not neglect the saline deposits. In the southwest near the walled town of Yün-chêng is a salt lake, farmed out to a large number of native companies, and from which the government derives so considerable a revenue that an official staff is stationed there to care for it. There is also a deposit of gypsum in this neighborhood. In the central plain of the province in the Taiyuan prefecture, the natives have opened numerous salt wells. The salt from these wells is very bitter and decidedly inferior in quality to that from the Yün-chêng lake. There are saline deposits, also, in Suiyuan in the extreme north of the province on the Mongolian border, and in Fêngchên in the northeast, the latter district also producing some soda.
From the above it will be seen that the mineral resources of the province are rich, especially in coal and iron. The problem is, to develop these resources by improvements in the methods and by putting them in touch with the markets. This leads us naturally to consider the problem of transportation.
In the palmy days of the Manchu dynasty Shansi reached a high degree of affluence, but it was not through the development of the natural resources of the province. Great fortunes were made by bankers and pawn-shop men in the four corners of the empire and the fruits of those fortunes were escorted into Shansi over almost impassable trails to the
accompaniment of tinkling donkey-bells. All about the mineral riches of the province nature had thrown an almost insurmountable mountain barrier. The perseverance of men has, however, succeeded in throwing roadways or trails over range after range of mountains, and in maintaining a great number of carriers upon these road-ways. It would be profitable indeed, did time permit, to describe these ancient thoroughfares. They have a charm and a romance all their own. It is more to the point, however, to consider the efforts of modern engineers to penetrate Shansi's mountain fastnesses. There is but one completed railway line into Shansi. A narrow-guage road, with its eastern terminus at Shih Chia Chuang, near Chêngtingfu, on the Peking Hankow line in Chihli Province, runs almost due west to Taiyuanfu. The road is very crooked and the engineering difficulties have been considerable. The total length is about 151 miles. In that distance there are eighteen tunnels and a large number of bridges and culverts. It is to be regretted that the road is narrow-guage, but such is the character of the country traversed that to have constructed a standard-guage road would have multiplied the cost fourfold.
One other road into Shansi is under construction, namely, an extension of the Peking-Kalgan line to Suiyuan and Kweihuating, important commercial centers, on the Mongolian border. Inside the province a railway line is under construction, the so-called Jung-Pu Railway, the ultimate termini of which are to be Tatungfu in the north and Puchowfu in the southwest, on the Yellow River, at the gateway to Shensi Province. At the northern terminus the road is to connect with the extension of the Peking-Kalgan line. It will run through Taiyuanfu and will follow in a general way, the great central highway that has for centuries been the connecting link between Taiyuanfu and Sianfu. Thus far grading has been done between Yützu, on the Cheng-tingTaiyuan line, and Taiku, 25 miles to the south and west. The outbreak of the revolution in the autumn of 1911 stopped work upon this section of the road shortly before the laying of rails would have been begun.
THE JOURNAL OF RACE DEVELOPMENT, VOL. 4, NO. 2, 1913