El Cobre: Cuban ore and the globalization of Swansea copper, 1830-1870

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In the 1830s the copper works of the Swansea district began to import ores from far-distant locations. The most important source of overseas ore was Cuba. This article explains how the island's Sierra Maestra became integral to the Swansea copper industry in the middle of the nineteenth century. The copper masters, shipping magnates and City financiers who promoted the Cuban mining sector are identified, and the workforce that grew up around the mining town of El Cobre – a mix of skilled British operatives, African slaves and Chinese indentured labourers – is analysed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112 - 131
Number of pages19
JournalWelsh History Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2014


  • Copper
  • Wales
  • Cuba
  • globalization
  • International trade
  • Sierra Maestra
  • El Cobre


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