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Pope Yeatman


2011 Inductee from Mining's Past

Pope Yeatman received an Engineer of Mines degree from Washington University (St. Louis, MO) in 1883. He soon joined other American mining engineers working in the gold mines of South Africa. On his return to the US, he joined John Hays Hammond, who had become the Guggenheim’s consulting mining engineer.

In 1906, Hammond sent Yeatman to Alaska, to examine the claims that became the Kennecott mine. Based on Yeatman’s recommendation, the Guggenheim’s acquired this property, which proved to be a bonanza.

Following the departure of Hammond from the Guggenheim interests, Yeatman became their top mining engineer. He acted in various roles at the Guggenheim controlled Nevada Consolidated Copper Co. - as consulting engineer, general manager and managing director.  He was in charge of the design and construction of the reduction works at Nevada (Concentrator and smelter).

His next major accomplishment occurred in Chile. In 1909, the Guggenheims acquired control of Braden Copper Co. Pope Yeatman was made consulting engineer and assumed direct responsibility for the administration of all operations. To develop the property to its potential, in addition to mine development, a railroad had to be constructed, hydro power plants constructed,( including the canals and/or pipelines to get the water to the generating plants), construct and expand the concentrator, install aerial trams for both ore and concentrates, build a smelter, and provide the necessary infrastructure.

Around 1911, Yeatman directed Edwin S. Berry to make an examination of a property in northern Chile for the Guggenheim interests. This was the Chuquicamata property. By the end of 1911 when the Guggenheims took control of this property, Yeatman had the dual responsibility of directing the additional exploration and development of Chuquicamata, with its exotic copper minerals requiring special metallurgy, as well as the ongoing work at Braden.

At Braden, he followed up on William Braden’s work with The Minerals Separation Co. on flotation of the Braden (El Teniente) ore. By using fresh, unoxidized ores, excellent recovery of copper was obtained, something not thought possible with chalcocite (copper sulfide). Braden Copper Co. thus became the first place to use flotation for the recovery of copper on a large scale, albeit to scavenge additional values from the gravity concentrator.

After leaving the Guggenheim’s, Yeatman and his colleague Berry established a consulting business in the US. He received the Army Distinguished Service Medal for his service to the nation on the War Industries Board in procuring vital nonferrous metals for the World War I effort.

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