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THE INDUSTRY THAT FORGED THE MODERN WORLD
Throughout history metals and raw materials have underpinned human activity. So it is that the industry responsible for extracting these materials from the ground – mining – has been ever present throughout the history of civilisation, from the ancient world of the Egyptians and Romans, to the industrial revolution and the British Empire, and through to the present day, with mining firms well represented on the world’s most important stock indexes including the FTSE100.
This book traces the history of mining from those early moments when man first started using tools to the present day where metals continue to underpin economic activity in the post industrial age. In doing so, the history of mining methods, important events, technological developments, the important firms and the sparkling personalities that built the industry are examined in detail.
At every stage, as the history of mining is traced from 40,000BC to the present day, the level of detail increases in accordance with the greater social and industrial developments that have played out as time has progressed. This means that a particular focus is given to the period since the industrial revolution and especially the 20th century. A look is also taken into the future in an effort to chart the direction this great industry might take in years to come.
Many books have been written about mining; the majority have focused on a particular metal, geographical area, mining event or mining personality, but ‘The History of Mining’ has a broader scope and covers all of these essential and fascinating areas in one definitive volume.
Michael Coulson Profile
Born in 1945 Michael Coulson has been associated with the mining sector for over 30 years, although his university background is in economics where he holds a BSc from the University of London. He first worked as a graduate trainee on the legendary mining desk at James Capel in 1970, for many years the leading mining stockbroker in the City. After that he became a mining salesman at Sterling & Co and also developed the firm’s research coverage of the sector.
In 1973 he joined Fielding Newson-Smith (later to become NatWest Markets) as a gold mining analyst where he began a long association with the South African gold mining industry. Two years later he became senior mining analyst at L Messel (latterly Lehman Bros) where he started to produce an annual gold review which he published every year until 1991. In 1979 he moved to Panmure Gordon and in 1982 he left and joined Phillips & Drew (UBS) with the task of establishing the firm in the mining market.
After a successful four years there, where two years running he was voted No 2 gold analyst in the Extel Analysts Survey, he moved to Kitcat & Aitken where he set up a highly regarded integrated mining desk. In 1990 K&A’s Canadian owners closed the firm and he was briefly with County NatWest. The following year he set up a small mining team at Durlacher, but in 1992 was back in the mainstream at Credit Lyonnais Laing where he was a salesman/analyst on the firm’s specialist mining team and established an expertise in African shares. He was then approached by South African bank, Nedcor, to join a start-up broking operation the bank was establishing in London. This operation was closed in 1997 and the following year he joined Paribas to head its Global Mining Team.
He left Paribas in 2000 following the completion of the merger with BNP. Since then he has been doing independent research, mainly on a commissioned basis, primarily for small UK brokers lacking mining expertise. He also wrote An Insider’s Guide to the Mining Sector for Harriman House, which has run to two editions and has been translated into Chinese. He is currently a non-executive director of City Natural Resources High Yield Trust.
Michael lives in Wandsworth with his wife and has three daughters and two granddaughters. He has a lifelong passion for cricket and football and as befits a veteran miner, albeit of the armchair variety, also enjoys a glass or two of wine as he contemplates strategies and projects for the future.