Mining Day in Chile

‘Knowing Chilean Mining’ throughout the month of August, Chile commemorates mining, and in particular on August 10, the day of San Lorenzo, Mining Day is celebrated, as he is the patron saint of the activity. There are many celebrations that take place throughout Chile, especially in the north of the country.

Although the 10th of August is officially the ‘Day of the Miner’, it has been for several years that the sector celebrates mining throughout the month. This has become an opportunity for the country to know better the sector: how miners work today, how they contribute to the country’s development and what its role has been throughout our history. Since Chile is an independent nation, mining has been particularly marked and protagonist of both the culture and the economy and the development of the country and its people. We cannot forget, for example, the impact of nitrate in northern Chile, the role of coal mines in the south and the current copper boom, which is a fundamental pillar for our current and future growth. However, although Chile is undoubtedly a mining country, much of the national society still does not know the relevance and the modern reality of the sector. In order to contribute to the knowledge of the environment surrounding the mining sector, every year, during August, a series of activities are carried out. Some are aimed at mine workers and others for the community at large.

San Lorenzo and Mining Day

In Chile, Mining Day is celebrated on August 10 in honor of San Lorenzo, patron saint of mining, a Spanish priest who lived in Rome during the third century AD. Of C. and that dedicated his religious life to the administration of the goods of the Church. Legend has it that the emperor of the time, Valerian demands to the Church the total surrender of his goods and dictates the death of Pope Sixtus II. The caretaker of the treasures of the Church, Lorenzo, was sent to seize by the Emperor and demanded the delivery of all the treasures rich in gold and silver. Despite being in danger, the deacon asked the authorities for three days to gather them. Then Lorenzo disobeyed the order of the Emperor and buried the precious metals and other objects of the Church. Instead of material objects, Lorenzo gathered the poor, the elderly and the sick, and presented them to Valerian as the true treasure of the Church. When the Emperor was mocked by Lorenzo he was filled with anger and decided an exemplary punishment condemning him to die on a fiery grill, on August 10. Despite the horrible sentence, it is said that San Lorenzo remained calm and never revealed the place where he had hidden the treasure. There is no clarity as to when San Lorenzo becomes the employer of Mining, however it follows that because it buried treasures of precious metals, it is directly related to the work done daily by the miners. The belief in this saint is installed in our country with the foundation of the city of Tarapacá. The miners promptly took charge of the saint’s celebration by building a temple, actively participating in their celebrations and pilgrimage to this city each August