Atacama virtual: English

Mining in Atacama Region, Chile: The Tres Puntas silver Mines

Paul Treutler: Visit to the Salvadora Mine

Mining at Atacama

W. Griem, 2020

Text of Treutler
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Miner in the Salvadora mine of Tres Puntas - from Paul Treutler Miner of the north of  Chile: Ochsenius

 Literature: Historic mining at Atacama

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Sections from Treutler 15 years in South America: Description of a visit to the Salvadora Mine in Tres Puntas (Atacama, Chile): The text refers to the years 1851 to 1856, but it should be mentioned that Paul Treutler's descriptions are not always authentic.
P. Treutler on his visit to the mine "Salvadora" (Tres Puntas):  (Hauer: Hewer, pickman (Schlepper: Barrow-man)

"To get to know the inside of the pit, I went down into the pit with the steward at the entrance ramp. It was zigzagged and about 350 feet (=108 m) deep. The richest limestone pathway was 4 1/2 feet (=1.40m) thick, running from north to south, at a difference of 15°, and often in this thickness consisted of almost pure silver. I saw blocks of them lying on the ground, weighing in at 6 Ztr. (=300 Kg) and which were cut with the axe in order to get them out. The lighting was provided by tallow candles; each miner brought one of them to the top of his cane. Everyone worked almost naked.

Not only could I admire the great power and muscle strength of the miners, which often led 25 to 30 strokes in a row without resting, with a 25 pound (12.5 kg) hammer. No less than the pickmen the barrow-men attracted my attention, who with a leather bag, in which they carried 1 1/2 hundred kilograms (75 kg) of ore, often climbed 900 feet (279 m) quite steeply singing up and in 24 hours this tour on twelve times.  

As with the heels, the arm muscles, the calves were herculean. The working time was not in specific hours, but alternated between the pickmen and the barrow-men. After the first one had done his work, which consisted of drilling and blasting, he stepped down and left the working to the barrow-men, who brought the blown up ores and rocks to the surface, and when the place had been cleared, the pickmen, began his activity again. So this was an uninterrupted, day and night, week after week during work. The construction of the mine was very simple and appropriate to the conditions; it was completely dry, had no trunk of wood needed and had good air. The tracks were 6 feet (1.86m) high and 5 feet (1.55 m) wide.

Up to now, all ore was put in bags on the back of the barrow-men to go way out to surface (#1); however, a vertical shaft had already been sunk to the deepest level and a horse-capstan(#2) had to be erected in order to extract the ores from it".

#1) More horizontal, more or less passable tunnels entrances and exits.

 #2) Horse-capstan: Device for extracting ores from the shaft with horsepower. In most cases it was a turnstile with two horses, which were used to pull up a rope or a steel chain with a transport box. (For example, horse-capstan in Johanngeorgenstadt.


Los textos originales fueron digitalizados, transformados a ASCII redactados y traducidos  por Dr. Wolfgang Griem.

Miners of Tres Puntas, from Treutler
This picture, taken from the book of Treutler (15 years in South America) is a slightly modified copy of L. SIMONIN (1867)"La vie Souterraine Du Les Mines et Les Mineurs". see comparison with SIMONIN


Mining Atacama
Journey to Atacama

History of the Atacama Region, Chile

List of mining districts  Atacama
History of mining 1830-1920
Tres Puntas

Ruins of village
Cemetery of Tres Puntas
Buena Esperanza mine, Cobriza
Cronología de Tres Puntas
Treutler: Living in Tres  Puntas
Treutler: Pub at Tres Puntas
Treutler: Interior Salvadora
Treutler: Situación laboral
Treutler: Minería Tres Puntas
Treutler: Terremoto en Tres Puntas
Treutler: Accidente en Tres Puntas
San Román: Geol. of Tres Puntas
Carta minero de Cornwall
Philippi at Tres Puntas
Philippi: Descripción Tres Puntas
Philippi: Historia Tres Puntas
Cartas sector Tres Puntas
Listado minas de Tres Puntas
Estadísticas de Tres Puntas

Cerro Blanco district
Lomas Bayas
More mining districts ....

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Tres Puntas content
Village of Tres Puntas
Cemetery of Tres Puntas
Buena Esperanza mine
Mina Cobriza
Cronología de Tres Puntas
Historical records
Treutler, living in Tres Puntas
Treutler: Pub at Tres Puntas
Treutler - Mina en Tres Puntas
Treutler - los mineros, Tres Puntas
Treutler: Minería en Tres Puntas
Terremoto en Tres Puntas (Treutler)
Treutler accidente en Tres Puntas
Carta de un minero de Cornwall
Philippi en Tres Puntas (1856)
Philippi: Descripción Tres Puntas
Philippi: Historia Tres Puntas
Carta del sector Tres Puntas
Listado de las minas de Tres Puntas
Estadísticas de Tres Puntas

Mining at Atacama
Mining in the years 1830-1920
List of minig districts Atacama
Tres Puntas
Carrizal Alto
Cerro Blanco district
Lomas Bayas
Cabeza de Vaca

Paul Treutler (1851)
Intro Treutler en Atacama
Paul Treutler en Copiapó
Paul Treutler en Caldera
viaje en Ferrocarril por P. Treutler
Treutler: Accidente ferroviario 1853
Treutler en Tres Puntas
en Salvadora (Tres Puntas)
accidente en Tres Puntas
carta de Atacama
Terremotos  (general)
Terremoto en Tres Puntas, Atacama

TREUTLER - SIMONIN, comparación
Paul Treutler
Total comparison

Visitors to Atacama
List of Visitors
R.A. Philippi en Atacama
Paul Treutler en Atacama
Charles Darwin, Atacama (1835)
Ignacio Domeyko y Copiapó
Kunz en Copiapó
Hugo Kunz en Chañarcillo
Gilliss Mineros en Chañarcillo

: Fünfzehn Jahre in Südamerika an de Ufern des Stillen Ozeans. - 3 Bd., 236 Seiten; Weltpostverlag, Leipzig. (Colección W. Griem)

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Published (spanish): 19.9. 2017; Updated: 8.10.2017, 11.8.2018, 30.1.2021
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