Title: The Matchless Copper Mine in 1857
Subtitle: Correspondence of manager C.J. Andersson; Andersson Papers, Vol. 1
Editor: Brigitte Lau
Series: Archeia, No. 7
Publisher: National Archives, SWA/Namibia
Windhoek, Namibia 1987
ISBN 0869762125 / ISBN 0-86976-212-5
Original softcover, 15x21 cm, 113 pages, some bw-photos, illustrations and scetches
Very good. Unused copy.
The present text documents a year's copper mining activity in Namaland, SWA/Namibia. The year is 1857 and the country ruled by groups of chiefs, the copper mine is called Matchless, the company exploiting the mine is the Walvis Bay Mining Company, and the mine manager whose letters to the directors have been published here, is Charles John Andersson. The Walvisch Bay Mining Company Between 1853 and 1855 the north-western Cape Colony was seized with a veritable 'copper mania'. Between July 1854 and January 1855 alone, 22 companies came into being, all with the purpose to profitably exploit the northern Cape's copper deposits around Springbok and O'okiep.
By 1857, the boom had died down and only three of them survived, but the 'copper fever' was still burning. It did not stop at the Orange. Knowledge of rich copper deposits in Namaland north of the Orange River had spread amongst Europeans at the Cape and England through reports and samples brought back from his journies by Alexander in 1836. When the Walvisch Bay Mining Company and the Great Namaqua Mining Company (G.N.M.C.) were formed at the Cape in September and October 1854, respectively, it was with the express purpose to exploit copper deposits and modern-day central (W.B.M.C.) and southern (G.N.M.C) SWA/Namibia.