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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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5. Spain - Europe’s mining leader

The 19th century witnessed a further attempt by the great European powers to extend their overseas possessions, but the motivation this time was less a case of trade and geopolitics and much more a case of obtaining control of natural resources to feed the industrial revolution that was in danger of outgrowing indigenous supplies of raw materials. Such a strategy is mirrored today in the 21st century by China’s push to secure raw materials for its own industrial expansion. Over the centuries one of Europe’s leading mining countries has been Spain, with a history going back beyond the Roman Empire to the time of the Phoenicians. Earlier we looked at Pliny’s observations on gold mining under the Romans, but Spain ...

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