Fireplaces Copper Smelter is the only witness to plow left standing of the technology that enabled Chile to become the largest producer of copper between 1851 and 1880, and move that chair to England, a country previously carrying the highest law minerals for smelting. Paradoxically, the technology that allowed this phenomenon developed in England, and that nationality was the engineer who introduced in our country.
Charles Lambert installed the first hearth worked in Chile in 1831. In this new processing system, the metals are fused in a furnace, from which the roof heat shimmered on minerals. The heat in the form of gases and flames, was obtained from the combustion of firewood and charcoal grill was produced in a lateral. The circulation or movement of the gas was caused by tall chimneys, some of them reaching 40 meters high. This system allowed much higher yields to those achieved with the previous method, in use since colonial times, in which the ore is mixed with fuel (wood), and where air circulation was caused by external conduits (sleeves ).
Tilling furnaces were dismantled, to exploit the material that were built-English firebrick. There are two impressive chimneys standing foundry, built in 1846. Its plan is square, with its sections of just over 2 meters at the base. The structures are refractory brick and lime mortar, reinforced with a metal frame. Are 18 feet high.
In 1871, operating in the country about 90 hearth furnaces, which produced all 39,500 tons of fine copper. In the late nineteenth century, the depletion of deposits and the decline in mineral law, combined with the competition offered by the U.S. copper production, caused the shutdown of most of these smelters, including that of Tilling.