James, Christpher

Category: OMEG Management and Staff Date of Birth: ???? Date of Death: ????

Christopher James was a British mining engineer, who undertook early development work at Tsumeb.  Jamesite is named in his honour (Keller et al., 1981).

James was the supervisor of a group of 33 men sent by the OMEG company to carry out further exploratory development after Matthew Rogers’ early work.  He arrived at Tsumeb on the 13th August 1900 to evaluate the potential of the deposit. By March 14th 1901 he had sunk 38 metres of shaft and had started crosscutting. These crosscuts, some of 18 m and 48 m respectively, outlined the extent of the Tsumeb ore pipe and by 13th August 1901, James was in a position to give his preliminary report.

His report estimated that there were over 200,000 tonnes of high grade ore between surface and 2 Level grading 12.61% copper and 25.29% lead, and over 190,000 tonnes of low grade ore at 2.91% copper and 4.3% lead.  He also identified that the western end of the deposit was copper rich and the eastern end lead rich.  He estimated a mine life of just over eight years; however, this turned out to be somewhat conservative! In his report he comments on the mineralogy of the ore in which he observed chalcocite, malachite, galena, and cerussite. This was the first description of minerals in the Tsumeb deposit. In order to exploit the orebody he recommended the building of a railway from the coast to transport materials in, and concentrates and metal out to the coast.

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