MINES AND MINERALS.—Output.—In the United Kingdom during the year 1908 the total output of coal mines was 261,528,795 tons. In the year 1901 the output was 219,046,945 tons. The average output of mineral from coal mines per person employed anderground tends to decrease, the main cause being found in the fact that the colliers work fewer days, and sometimes shorter hours, than they did in previous years. In some cases higher wages enable the work man to earn his livelihood though working shorter hours or taking an additional holiday every week ; in other cases large numbers of men are taken into employ ment while trade is brisk at the beginning of the year and are afterwards kept on the books, the mine being worked for shorter hours. The quantity of coal exported, exclusive of coke and manufactured fuel and of coal shipped for the use of steamers engaged in foreign trade, was 62,547,175 tons, a decrease of more than a million tons on the exports for 1908. France received over 101 million tons, Germany over 9i million tons, Italy over 81 million tons, Sweden over 44 million tons, Russia over 31, and the Netherlands, Spain, and Denmark, each over 2 million tons. Adding the 3,284,787 tons exported in the form of coke and manufactured fuel, and the 19,474,174 tons shipped for the use of British and foreign steamers engaged in foreign trade, the total quantity of coal which left the country was 85,306,136 tons. The amount of coal remaining for home consumption was 176,222,659 tons, or 3-956 tons per head of the population. Nearly 19 million tons of coal were used, in 1908, in blast-furnaces for the manu facture of pig iron, as against over 20 millions in the previous year. Of the metallic minerals raised in the United Kingdom, iron ore is by far the most important. During the year 1908 the output of ores of this metal was 15,031,025 tons, valued at A:3,724,165. The ore yielded 4,847,448 tons of iron, or more than one-half of the total quantity of pig iron made in this country.
The oidput the world of coal, in millions of metric tons, is as follows :— United States, 435.7 ; United Kingdom, 261.5 ; Germany, 205.7 ; Austria Hungary, 47.8 ; France, 36-7 ; Belgium, 23.7 ; Russia, 26.2 ; Japan, 13.8. The like figures for iron are :—United States, 26.1 ; Germany, 7.2 ; Great Britain, 5.2 (to which may be added 473,000 tons for Newfoundland, and 100,000 tons for Canada); Spain, 4.7 ; France, 3.6 ; Russia, 2.8 ; Sweden, 2.7 ; Luxemburg, 2.6 ; Austria-Hungary, 1.7. Persons total number of persons employed during the year 1901 in and about all the mines of the United Kingdom was 839,178, of whom 806,735 worked at 3397 coal mines, and 32,443 at 731 metalliferous mines. Compared with 1900 there was an increase of 26,683 persons at coal mines, and a decrease of 2022 persons at metalliferous mines.
Of the 806,735 persons working at coal mines, 647,822, or over 80 per cent., were employed below ground. Of the 158,91.3 surface workers, 5195, or nearly $.8 per cent., were females. There was an increase of 387 females compare4 with 1900. At metalliferous mines, 18,804 persons, or nearly 58 per cent., worked below ground, and of 13,639 surface workers, 393, or nearly 2.9 per cent., were females. In 1908 there were 1,017,740 persons employed in coal and metalliferous mines. Of these, 972,232 were employed in coal mines, and 45,508 in metalliferous mines. Female surface workers at coal mines were 5970 ; at metalliferous mines, 255. At the quarries under the Quarries Act there were 94,188 persons employed, of whom 59,968 worked inside the actual pits and excavations, and 34,220 outside. Compared with 1900 there was a decrease of 663 among the inside workers, and an increase of 956 among the outside workers, making a net increase of 293 in the number of persons employed at quarries. The persons employed occasionally at quarries are included in these figures. In 1908 there were 85,475 persons employed at quarries, of whom 54,449 were inside workers and 31,026 were outside. Fatal has been a striking decrease of deaths from accidents in connection with metalliferous mining during the last thirty-five years : where formerly there would be over one hundred deaths, now there would be less than fifty. This decrease is per sistent. In the coal mines, however, the decrease is comparatively slight. Non fatal accidents.—No figures can be a satisfactory guide to the number of non-fatal accidents which actually occur in mines and quarries, because the standard of severity governing the notification of accidents at such places is vague, and allows much latitude to the agent in his interpretation of it. The standard at mines and quarries is totally different from that at workshops and factories. What is wanted is one definite standard for all industries. Until such a standard is fixed by statute no stress should be laid upon these figures, excepting as regards in juries caused by explosions of fire-clamp, explosives, and steam-boilers ; in these three cases notifications have to be sent to the inspector, no matter how slight the injuries. Death-rates from accidents.—The death-rate from accidents of the underground workers at coal mines is slightly higher than the death-rate of the surface workers. At metalliferous mines the death-rate of the underground workers is also higher than that of the surface workers, 0.15 per 1000. So, too, at the quarries, under the Quarries Act, the death-rate from accidents of the workers inside the actual pits or excavations is higher than that of the persons employed at factories and workshops outside the quarries, but connected with them.