“. . . in stifling conditions and temperatures up to 70° Fahrenheit,” which would actually be quite comfprtable. Perhaps the author meant to write Celsius?
The figure is correct, our writer believed that that would be an unpleasant temperature to work in down a cramped mine. I doubt 70° Celsius would be survivable for long!
There is probably lot of silver left in the discarded rubble. The Ancients mostly mined the easier-to-get, pure ores. Nowadays they can grind up the rock into powder and extract even the tiniest specks.
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