chapter  5
30 Pages

The Mining Sector: Copper, Silver, and Coal

WithJohn Mayo

Chile’s mining sector continued to attract Britons, however. Britons also at one time or another owned considerable mines in the much more important copper sector, though never on the scale anticipated by the 1825 flotations. It is clear that Britons contributed in important ways to Chile’s pre-nitrate mining sector, and on balance very beneficially. British involvement in Chilean mining began soon after independence, and it almost ended then, for the initial ventures failed. Three mining companies were floated in London in 1825, the Anglo-Chilean, the Chilean Mining Association, and the Chilean and Peruvian Mining Association. The British contribution to coal mining was almost exclusively in providing trained personnel. The impression of unrelieved hard work for small or no returns given by the workings of British mining houses and companies is somewhat modified when one turns to the operations of individuals.