CHAPTER XII – CONDUCTING MINING OPERATIONS AND MANUFACTURE
1POSSESSED of the knowledge of the science dealing with copper and other minerals (Sulbádhátusástra), experienced in the art of distillation and condensation of mercury (rasapáka) and of testing gems, aided by experts in mineralogy and equipped with mining labourers and necessary instruments, the superintendent of mines shall examine mines which, on account of their containing mineral excrement (kitta), crucibles, charcoal, and ashes, may appear to have been once exploited or which may be newly discovered on plains or mountain-slopes possessing mineral ores, the richness of which can be ascertained by weight, depth of colour, piercing smell, and taste.
2Liquids which ooze out from pits, eaves, slopes, or deep excavations of well-known mountains; which have the colour of the fruit of rose-apple (jambu), of mango, and of fanpalm; which are as yellow as ripe turmeric, sulphurate of arsenic (haritála), honey-comb, and vermilion; which are as resplendent as the petals of a lotus, or the feathers of a parrot or a peacock; which are adjacent to (any mass of) water or shrubs of similar colour; and which are greasy (chikkana), transparent (visada), and very heavy are ores of gold (kánchanika). Likewise liquids which, when dropped on water, spread like oil to which dirt and filth adhere, and which amalgamate themselves more than cent per cent (satádupari veddhárah) with copper or silver.
3Of similar appearance as the above (tatpratirúpakam), but of piercing smell and taste is Bitumen.
4Those ores which are obtained from plains or slopes of mountains; which are either yellow or as red as copper or reddish yellow; which are disjoined and marked with blue lines; which have the colour of black beans (masha, Phraseolus Radiatus), green beans (mudga, Phraseolus Mungo), and sesamum; which are marked with spots like a drop of curd and resplendent as turmeric, yellow myrobalan, petals of a lotus, acquatic plant, the liver or the spleen; which possess a sandy layer within them and are marked with figures of a circle or a svastika; which contain globular masses (sagulika); and which, when roasted do not split, but emit much foam and smoke are the ores of gold (suvarnadhátavah), and are used to form amalgams with copper or silver (pratívápárthasté stámrarúpyavedharáh).
5Those ores which have the colour of a conch-shell, camphor, alum, butter, a pigeon, turtle-dove, Vimalaka (a kind of precious stone), or the neck of a peacock; which are as resplendent as opal (sasyaka), agate (gomédaka), cane-sugar (guda), and granulated sugar (matsyandika) which has the colour of the flower of kovidára (Bauhinia Variegata), of lotus, of patali (Bignonia Suaveolens), of kalaya (a kind of phraseolus), of kshauma (flax), and of atasi (Dinuin Usitatissimum); which may be in combination with lead or iron (anjana); which smell like raw meat, are disjoined gray or blackish white, and are marked with lines or spots; and which, when roasted, do not split, but emit much foam and smoke are silver ores.
6The heavier the ores, the greater will be the quantity of metal in them (satvavriddhih).
7The impurities of ores, whether superficial or inseparably combined with them can be got rid of and the metal melted when the ores are (chemically) treated with Tikshna urine (mútra) and alkalies (kshára), and are mixed or smeared over with the mixture of (the powder of) Rajavriksha (Clitoria Ternatea), Vata (Ficus Indica), and Pelu (Carnea Arborea), together with cow’s bile and the urine and dung of a buffalo, an ass and an elephant.
8(Metals) are rendered soft when they are treated with (the powder of) kandali (mushroom), and vajrakanda, (Antiquorum) together with the ashes of barley, black beans, palása (Butea Frondosa), and pelu (Carnea Arborea), or with the milk of both the cow and the sheep. Whatever metal is split into a hundred thousand parts is rendered soft when it is thrice soaked in the mixture made up of honey (madhu), madhuka (Bassia Latifolia), sheep’s milk, sesamum oil, clarified butter, jaggery, kinva (ferment) and mushroom.
9Permanent softness (mridustambhana) is also attained when the metal is treated with the powder of cow’s teeth and horn.
10Those ores which are obtained from plains or slopes of mountains; and which are heavy, greasy, soft, tawny, green, dark, bluish-yellow (harita), pale-red, or red are ores of copper.
11Those ores which have the colour of kákamechaka (Solanum Indica), pigeon, or cow’s bile, and which are marked with white lines and smell like raw meat are the ores of lead.
12Those ores which are as variegated in colour as saline soil or which have the colour of a burnt lump of earth are the ores of tin.
13Those ores which are of orange colour (kurumba), or pale-red (pándurohita), or of the colour of the flower of sinduvára (Vitex Trifolia) are the ores of tíkshna.
14Those ores which are of the colour of the leaf of kánda (Artemisia Indica) or of the leaf of birch are the ores of vaikrintaka.
15Pure, smooth, efflugent, sounding (when struck), very hard (satatívrah), and of little colour (tanurága) are precious stones.
16The yield of mines may be put to such uses as are in vogue.
17Commerce in commodities manufactured from mineral products shall be centralized and punishment for manufacturers, sellers, and purchasers of such commodities outside the prescribed locality shall also be laid down.
18A mine-labourer who steals mineral products except precious stones shall be punished with a fine of eight times their value.
19Any person who steals mineral products or carries on mining operations without license shall be bound (with chains) and caused to work (as a prisoner).
20Mines which yield such minerals as are made use of in preparing vessels (bhánda) as well as those mines which require large outlay to work out may be leased out for a fixed number of the shares of the output or for a fixed rent (bhágena prakrayena va) Such mines as can be worked out without much outlay shall be directly exploited (by Government agency).
21The superintendent of metals (lóhádhyakshah) shall carry on the manufacture of copper, lead, tin, vaikrintaka (mercury [?]), árakúta (brass), vritta(?); kamsa (bronze or bell-metal), tála (sulphurate of arsenic), and lodhra (?), and also of commodities (bhánda) from them.
22The superintendent of mint (lakshnádhyakshah), shall carry on the manufacture of silver coins (rúpyarúpa) made up of four parts of copper and one-sixteenth part (másha) of any one of the metals, tikshna, trapu, sisa, and anjana. There shall be a pana, half a pana, a quarter and one-eighth.
23Copper coins (támrarúpa) made up of four parts of an alloy (pádajívam), shall be a máshaka, half a máshaka, kákani and half a kákani.
24The examiner of coins (rúpadarsaka) shall regulate currency both as a medium of exchange (vyávahárikim) and as legal tender admissible into the treasury (kosapravesyám): The premia levied on coins paid into the treasury shall be) 8 per cent, known as rúpika, 5 per cent known as vyáji, one-eighth pana per cent as páríkshika (testing charge), besides (cha) a fine of 25 pana to be imposed on offenders other than the manufacturer, the seller, the purchaser and the examiner.
25The superintendent of ocean-mines (khanyadhyakshah) shall attend to the collection of conch-shells, diamonds, precious stones, pearls, corals, and salt (kshára) and also regulate the commerce in the above commodities.
26Soon after crystalisation of salt is over, the superintendent of salt shall in time collect both the money-rent (prakraya) and the quantity of the shares of salt due to the government; and by the sale of salt (thus collected as shares) he shall realise not only its value (múlyam), but also the premium of five per cent (vyájím), both in cash (rúpa).
27Imported salt (ágantulavanam) shall pay one-sixth portion (shadbhága) to the king. The sale of this portion (bhágavibhága) shall fetch the premia of five per cent (vyáji), of eight per cent (rúpika) in cash (rúpa). The purchasers shall pay not only the toll (sulka), but also the compensation (vaidharana) equivalent to the loss entailed on the king’s commerce. In default of the above payment, he shall be compelled to pay a fine of 600 panas.
28Adulteration of salt shall be punished with the highest amercement; likewise persons other than hermits (vánaprastha) manufacturing salt without license.
29Men learned in the Vedas, persons engaged in penance, as well as labourers may take with them salt for food; salt and alkalies for purposes other than this shall be subject to the payment of toll.
30Thus; besides collecting from mines the ten kinds of revenue, such as (1) value of the out-put (múlya), (2) the share of the out-put (vibhága), (3) the premium of five per cent (vyáji), (4) the testing charge of coins (parigha), (5) fine previously announced (atyaya), (6) toll (sulka), (7) compensation for loss entailed on the king’s commerce (vaidharana), (8) fines to be determined in proportion to the gravity of crimes (danda), (9), coinage (rúpa), (10) the premium of eight per cent (rúpika), the government shall keep as a state monopoly both mining and commerce (in minerals).
31Thus taxes (mukhasangraha) on all commodities intended for sale shall be prescribed once for all.