Daniel Guggenheim became a leading figure in the copper industry of the United States and Mexico and pushed for development of gold mines in Alaska, rubber plantations in Africa, tin mines in Bolivia and nitrate deposits in Chile.
The discovery of high-grade ore in the Guggenheim mines of Leadville in 1881 laid the foundation for the Guggenheim fortune in mining. The firm then set up a smelting plant in Colorado. When the huge smelting trust of American Smelting and Refining tried to crush the family’s fledging industry, Daniel defeated the trust and took over control of A.S. & R. (now, ASARCO). He served as president and chairman of ASARCO from 1901 to 1919.
With the outbreak of war in 1914, Daniel made sure the Guggenheim dynasty was ready. They had mines in Alaska, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Mexico and Chile. They had their own smelters and refineries. The biggest producers of copper were ready for the lusty war-time market. He then concentrated all the Guggenheim copper properties into one great outfit. The result was the enormous Kennecott Copper Corporation. Daniel is credited with the huge success of his copper empire, the Kennecott Mine in Alaska and the enormous Chuquicamata in Chile.