A History of Mining in Latin America

A History of Mining in Latin America

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For twenty-five years, Kendall Brown studied PotosAs, Spanish America's greatest silver producer and perhaps the world's most famous mining district. He read about the flood of silver that flowed from its Cerro Rico and learned of the toil of its miners. PotosAs symbolized fabulous wealth and unbelievable suffering. New World bullion stimulated the formation of the first world economy but at the same time it had profound consequences for labor, as mine operators and refiners resorted to extreme forms of coercion to secure workers. In many cases the environment also suffered devastating harm. All of this occurred in the name of wealth for individual entrepreneurs, companies, and the ruling states. Yet the question remains of how much economic development mining managed to produce in Latin America and what were its social and ecological consequences. Brown's focus on the legendary mines at PotosAs and comparison of its operations to those of other mines in Latin America is a well-written and accessible study that is the first to span the colonial era to the present.The Indians, he noted, a€œdied of the inhuman and bitter treatment they received in the mines and from other pestilential ... In the goldfields, a work gang was generally a five-person team: two men to dig the gold-bearing dirt; two men to carry it toanbsp;...

Title:A History of Mining in Latin America
Author:Kendall Brown
Publisher:UNM Press - 2012-03-16


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