Copper Empire: Mining and the Colonial State in Northern by Larry Butler

By Larry Butler

It is a examine of the evolving dating among the British colonial country and the copper mining in Northern Rhodesia, from the early phases of improvement to decolonization, encompassing melancholy, wartime mobilization and primary alterations within the nature and context of colonial rule. It explores the important significance of Northern Rhodesian copper to British monetary and strategic pursuits, and to Britain's formidable post-war plans to combine its vital African territories. one of the key issues addressed are modern debates at the possession of mineral assets and at the colonial state's accountability to advertise and keep watch over mining improvement and the wealth it generated.

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Extra resources for Copper Empire: Mining and the Colonial State in Northern Rhodesia, c.1930-64

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102 In the event, the copper industry did prove to be an important source of revenue. After 1935, it was to be Northern Rhodesia’s most important single source. 103 This in turn reflected Northern Rhodesia’s dangerous dependence on a single major export. Between 1934 and 1938, 87 per cent of the territory’s export earnings came from copper. Only two other colonies were more dependent on a single commodity. 104 Despite its financial problems, the government was never obliged after 1934 to show an annual deficit.

Specifically, the Canadians argued that their output could meet all the copper requirements of the parties to the Ottawa Agreement. 54 The Copperbelt’s steady recovery from the mid-1930s onwards was given a further boost by the onset of serious rearmament in Britain from 1937. 55 One lesson of the First World War had been the importance of colonial produce to Britain’s war effort. 56 During the 1930s, as well as mining copper, Northern Rhodesia began refining the metal, in particular producing blister copper, since it was no longer thought realistic to export ores or concentrates, which might contain only four and 40 per cent of copper respectively.

136 It was subsequently claimed that the attitude of the Conservative government in the lead-up to the Devonshire Agreement demonstrated the influence of the BSAC, enabling the latter to receive favourable treatment. The Northern Rhodesian government’s own white paper on the BSAC’s claims, published in 1964, referred to the close links between Ormsby-Gore, Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Colonial Office at the time of the 1923 agreement and a future Colonial Secretary, and Dougal Malcolm, the BSAC director involved in the negotiations.

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