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The History of Mining: The events, technology and people involved in the industry that forged the modern world by Michael Coulson

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12. Chile: King of Copper

American involvement

If Chile entered the 20th century as king of the global nitrate industry it ended it as king of copper, with output of the red metal three times higher than its nearest rival, neighbouring Peru. For Chile it was the expertise of US companies like Braden Copper, which in 1904 started exploitation of the El Teniente copper deposit, and the Guggenheims’ Chile Exploration Company (Chilex), which began development of Chuquicmata in 1910, who were able to harness new mining and treatment technology to economically mine large, low-grade orebodies. El Teniente quickly came under the control of US giant Kennecott and in 1923 the Guggenheims sold Chilex and Chuquicamata to another US mining giant, Anaconda, ...

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