The Structure and Development of the Southern Rhodesian Base Mineral Industry — from 1907 to the Great Depression
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The British South Africa Company was originally lured in 1890 to what became Southern Rhodesia in anticipation of discovering extensive gold deposits, but over the next two decades evidence of the region’s diverse mineralisation accumulated. Prospectors soon found deposits of asbestos, chrome, mica, copper, sheelite, wolframite, tin and antimony, to list but a few. Of the many minerals discovered, only the first two named achieved significant and relatively consistent importance between 1907 and the Great Depression and consequently discussion will centre almost exclusively on them.* Mica is examined briefly as an example of the lesser minerals and the general problems of profitability and marketability which their extraction entailed.