The copper industry in Spain. 1. From 1900 to 1975


  • Pere Pascual i Domènech Universitat de Barcelona



Industrialisation, Copper industry, Industry policty, Spain


This paper analyses the development of copper industry in Spain during the twentieth century. It describes the evolution of mineral, concentrates, copper and copper scraps foreign trade between 1851 and 1980, and shows that Spain, whic was an important exporter of copper mineral and concentrates during the nineteenth century, ended up depending on increasing net imports of copper concentrates, metal and scraps throughout the twentieth century. In addition, the paper shows that was due to domestic demand growth, whic was the result of the appearance of an industry of copper (and its alloys) refining and rolling, thanks to high tariff protection. The paper describes its evolution, its localisation, and the productive capacity that it reached in 1970. Finally, the paper describes the policy of restructuring of this sector, which was conceived at the end of Francoism –when J. M. López de Letona was the Minister of Industry– in order to increase its productivity and to cope with the challenge associated to the future Spanish incorporation to the EEC, and indicates the reasons for the failure of this first attempt of rationalisation of the Industry.