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Land of Gold


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Gold mining had always been an important part of Tierra del Fuego’s economy since it’s initial colonisation. The gold rush of the 1890s caused a population explosion and the development of the first cities in the far south. Since then, big mining companies had moved in, digging huge mines and forcing the small, independent prospectors out. But not all of them had left. In the century since, they had continued digging and panning, hoping to strike it lucky, but mostly just finding small flecks of the shiny yellow metal. Amílcar Suer was panning in the Carlo River, near the town of Tolhuin. He had parked his car off the highway, near where the Carlo flows into Lake Fagnano, and hiked into the foothills of the Martial Mountains. He had established his camp by the river, amongst a group of fallen dead trees, and spent his days wandering up and down the shallow rocky river panning.



Suer didn’t know it, but he was about to strike it rich, finding a one kilogram gold nugget just under the surface of the river bed. Over the next few days, he would find two more. He had made the biggest haul of any prospector in living memory. It was a big deal across the country, and would soon draw in people from the surrounds, who had heard about the find. Amílcar Suer had sparked another gold rush.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Over the next few weeks, first Japanese prospectors would start flocking in, to look for fitting sites for mining, before Nanwa Mining actually started some small-scale operations, planning for two mines, employing around 40 miners total. It would not be much, but it was also not intented to be much. Already before the mines would open though, Nanwa had opened an office in Ushuaia. The more or less mediocre building, unseeming and not standing out from its neighbouring buildings in any way really, would serve as a gold buying office, offering small-scale diggers to sell their dug-up gold for a decent sum, that was somewhat below world market price. The gold bought in this fashion would be shipped to Japan, where it would be sold to the industry for the production of electronics. Given that most likely miners would need to sell their gold anyway to actually get money, Nanwa hoped to just earn a small bit by playing the middleman between South American mines and East Asian industry.


The request for the construction of two mines would go to Tierra del Fuego's government for approval, with studies on environmental impact, the forseeable employment numbers and some documents on Nanwa's Bolivian mines, showing that the company worked according to high Japanese mining standards and would respect safety of its miners.

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