Zinc, diameter 38.5mm. Belo Horizonte, Morro Velho. Radiate start within laurel wreath. R. MoVo above 1, all incuse. Rulau MG 15. Very Fine
Situated in a low valley close to the town of Nova Lima in the tropical highland state of Minas Gerais Brazil, about 12 miles from the modern city of Belo Horizonte and some 200 miles north of Rio de Janeiro, the community at Morro Velho grew up rapidly around the mighty gold mine of that name which was for many years the deepest in the world. This was worked from 1830 by the British financed St John del Rey Mining Company and like many other Latin American mining concerns, the company recruited British labour and encouraged miners’ families to join them. The Cornish were by far the largest ethnic group among the British immigrant labourers in this most well known Brazilian mining camp, numbering some 350 in the 1860s, and remained so into the 1920s. A visitor to the mines in the 1860s noted that because the majority were mostly from the County of Cornwall, the men preserved their peculiar accent and many of their superstitions.
The Morro Velho complex of mines is located approximately 10 km south-east of the city of Belo Horizonte in Minas Gerais, Brazil, in the northern part of the Quadrilatero Ferrifero district. The mines of the complex have been worked for over 200 years, while Morro Velho itself was in continuous operation from 1834 to 1960.
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