|Shop Number 474||-||Built for: El Callio Co.|
[#-Dia. x Stroke]
[Style - Dia.]
Frazer & Chalmers (D), Chicago, IL; For:
El Callio Co. #474 "COLOMBIA", Venezuela
Official Name on Stocks: Compania Minera El Callao Nacional Anonima
from Martin Potts, London, UK
The loco was used for hauling gold ore from the outlying mines to the central gold recovery plant, replacing two Decauville locos that were too small. These outlying mines (of which Colombia was the most important, hence the loco name), were much lower grade than the original El Callao mine, which was worked out and abandoned in 1894. The El Callao company failed in December 1896, mainly because of the low gold grade, but also because of political instability in the region. There were three subsequent companies, all of which seem to have used the railway and presumably also the loco.
These companies were:
El Callao Consolidated Gold Mining Co Ltd - registered 26/2/1903, replaced by El Callao General Gold Mining Co Ltd - registered 3/4/1906 and liquidated 5/12/1912, replaced by the New Callao Gold Mining Co Ltd. The New Callao company survived into the 1950's, though little was actually done after the 1920's.
The railway probably fell out of use some time in the late 1920's, though the equipment was probably not scrapped until the steel mill at Puerto Ordaz was built in the late 1950's. However, it may have been broken up some while earlier to release the space in the middle of the town.