Mining constituent of the period of great geographic discoveries




geographic discoveries, mineral resources, mining history, conquistadors, El Dorado, mining colonization of territories, resources development, miners-slaves, international commerce, 'Spanish ailment'


The paper reviews the major drives of the period of great geographic discoveries, specifically aspiration for precious metals of the New World; systematizes the historical background of acquisition of the mineral wealth of Spanish America; examines the main gold and silver mining centers; shows the role of conquistadors in mining management and the share of autochthonous population who had to work in numerous mines; evaluates the significance of mineral resources of the New World for the buildup of the world financial system and international commerce in the 16th - 17th centuries. Important steps on that way were the mining colonization of the Aztec and Inca Empire by the Europeans, Peruvian gold, silver and mercury deposits.

It is concluded that the colonization as well as mining and industrial development of African and American territories discovered by the Europeans determined the long-term geography of the main developments of the world amplest mineral resources.

Author Biographies

Gennadiy Gayko, National Technical University of Ukraine "Kyiv Polytechnic Institute"

Doctor of Engineering, Professor of the Geoconstruction and Mining Technology Department

Volodymyr Biletsky, Yurii Kondratiuk National Technical University of Poltava

Doctor of Engineering, Professor of the Oil- and Gas-Field Construction Department


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How to Cite

Gayko, G., & Biletsky, V. (2015). Mining constituent of the period of great geographic discoveries. Skhid, (3(135).

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