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Historia (Santiago)

On-line version ISSN 0717-7194

Abstract

MARTINIC B., MATEO. LA MINERÍA DEL CARBÓN EN MAGALLANES ENTRE 1868 - 2003. Historia (Santiago) [online]. 2004, vol.37, n.1, pp.129-167. ISSN 0717-7194.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-71942004000100005.

The presence of charcoal mineral-lignite -was known in the Magellan territory since the beginning of the Chilean settlement in the Magellan strait region. The fist efforts failed and the same happened in other places of this vast territory, until the end of the XIX century. Only starting with the XX century did the carboniferous exploitation recover new strength, with the investment made by the Chilean businessman Agustin Ross in the rio de las Minas valley, near Punta Arenas (Loreto mine). The activity extended to other magellanic district, mainly in Riesco Island (Elena mine). And so, the coal mining reached a climax period toward 1943, specially helped by the carbon exportation to the Argentina. From 1950 and during the next 30 years the coal activity decayed until loosing all its economic importance. Nevertheless since 1984 a second productive epoch started, with a modern technology and strong capital investment, which aloud the exploitation of the Pecket site (north district of Brunswick peninsula) from 1987, reaching a top of 1.262.847. Since 1998 the year production exceeds a mean of 300.000 tons and a renewed coal development waits the initiation of new productive sites in Riesco island starting in year 2003.

Keywords : Patagonia; colonization; emigrants; geography.

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