A complete panoramic vision about the discovery and exploitation of gold in the meridional region of America is presented, describing its different episodes: Las Minas River (1869), Boquerón mountains (1881), Zanja a Pique (1884), Páramo (1887), Sloggett Bay (1887) and Southern Islands (1890). Also an account of the climax, development and decline of mechanic miners (the “gold fever”) between 1903 and 1908 is given, specially in relation to Tierra del Fuego island, which generated so many frustrations and failures. In the same manner the development of craft miners is described before and after 1900, until 1950, when the hole historic aurifer exploitation finished. Some considerations and evaluations of historic aurifer production are made and, also, about the demographic, economic and politic consequences of this auriferous activity in Magallanes.
Instituto de Historia, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile