The Cornish in Latin America

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Significant numbers of Cornish miners arrived from 1824-5 to work in Latin American mines that lay derelict, abandoned and flooded due to the Wars of Emancipation raging across the continent. Backed by large amounts of British capital some mines were rehabilitated and once more became successful enterprises. In several mining regions of Latin America, such as Fresnillo and Pachuca-Real del Monte in Mexico, the signs of a Cornish industrial landscape complete with masonry engine houses with integral chimneys, betray the involvement of the Cornish in bringing the industrial revolution to those shores. 

But far less tangible evidence for their intimate connection with the Latin American mining industry exists on countless mine maps and plans, the workings often described in typically Cornish terms. For not only did the Cornish bring with them new working practices such as the tribute system, but a vast new mining terminology, some of it derived from the Cornish language. This was added and blended to a rich Ibero-American technical vocabulary resulting in a global mining language. Some of the most common terms and phrases are given; Ibero-American terms are in italics.

LadrilleraAn iron or stone mould in which molten silver is poured in order to form the barra.
Lander manwho attends at the mouth of shaft to receive the kibble in which rubbish, ores, etc., are brought to the surface.
LaunderA tube or gutter for the conveyance of water.
LavaderoA large wooden vat with a mechanism to agitate liquid slurry. The amalgam settles to the bottom and the slurry is drawn off.
LavanderoThe operator of the lavadero.
LeariesOld empty workings or vugs.
LeatA water-course.
LenadorMan who supplies wood for smelting.
LevelsGalleries driven on the lode usually at 10, 20, 30, etc., fathoms below adit level.
LaborA work from which ores are extracted; in general, all work of the mine and especially the front work.
LamaSlimes from the amalgamation.
LavadorA man employed in washing the ore after amalgamation, or rather in cleansing the amalgam.
LodeA regular vein, producing or affording any kind of metal.
LumbreraA ventilation shaft.

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