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Sewell Mining Town

Travel Guide South America Chile Sewell Mining Town

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Introduction

Sewell is an uninhabited Chilean mining town located on the slopes of the Andes in the commune of Machalí in Cachapoal Province, Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins Region, at an altitude of between 2,000 and 2,250 metres.

The town was founded in 1906 by the Braden Copper Company to extract copper from the El Teniente mine. It was named after the company's first president, Barton Sewell.

During the Great Depression, the Braden Copper Company became a subsidiary of Kennecott Copper Company. In 1917 the foundry or smelter was moved from Sewell to Caletones which soon also developed a town around it.

In 1971 the mine was nationalised by the Allende government, and in 1977, after over seven decades of active life, and having supported the construction and exploitation of the largest underground mine in the world, the state-owned CODELCO (Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile) started moving families out of Sewell into the valley, and the demolition of buildings began.

Demolition was finally halted at the end of the 1980s, and in 1998 the Chilean Government declared Sewell a National Monument. UNESCO designated it a World Heritage Site in 2006.

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This is version 1. Last edited at 11:55 on Apr 10, 17 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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