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Huanuni tin mine

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Huanuni tin mine

The Huanuni tin mine is a large Bolivian mine situated about 60 km south of Oruro, Bolivia on the way to the famous Villa Imperial de Potosí, as the city was and is known since colonial times. The mine is situated in Bolivia's tin mining heartland. It was originally owned at the turn of the 20th century by Don Vicko Orlandini (Don Vincenzo Orlandini), who was a member of one of Bolivia's famous tin mining families, and also owner of El Porvenir-Cataricahua, in Huanuni, Oruro, Bolvia. The Huanuni mine was later sold to Simón Iturri Patiño, the well-known tin baron.

The Catavi Mine, which at the time was the largest underground tin mine in the world, especially from 1930 to the late 1940s. At about that time the Huanuni Mine took Catavi`s place through the end of the 20th century. Thousands of Bolivian mine workers still go underground every day. The mine was discovered by chance in the 19th century, and was mined for a long time simply with the aid of simple tools; the means of transport were burros (donkeys).

In traditional mining methods, the average lifespan of a mine worker from the local community was traditionally 46 years. That has now changed dramatically. Lifespan and pay have increased dramatically. Mine workers in Bolivia earn good wages today and average lifespan has increase to over 60 years. At present the Huanuni Mine is still Bolivia's largest underground tin mine.

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