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Batopilas, Chihuahua

Historical Mines

Batopilas (Spanish: [batoˈpilas] ( listen)) is a small town, and seat of the surrounding municipality of the same name, in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, located along the Río Batopilas at the bottom of the Batopilas canyon, part of the Copper Canyon. As of 2010, the town of Batopilas had a population of 1,220. Its elevation above sea level is 578 metres (1,896 ft). The town is situated in a narrow valley, bordered by steep canyon walls.The government of Mexico declared it a Pueblo Mágico on October 19, 2012.

Batopilas was a prominent silver-mining center from the early 18th to the early 20th century.

The Tarahumara Indians most likely had known of silver in the area for a long time before a Spanish explorer found silver by the Río Batopilas around 1632. The discovery was in the river itself, near the bank, and the silver ore was pure white and glistening. The mine was named the Nevada Mine because of the white ore colour, Nevada meaning "snow-capped" in Spanish. The Spanish exploration party took specimens of the silver ore back to Mexico City and then shipped them to Spain.

Very few local records exist from the period prior to 1845 due to two large fires that ravaged the area, the first one in 1740 and the second in 1845. Most of what is known comes from documents available in the Colonial Archives in Madrid.

Last Updated on: 2021-05-26