Elhuyar, born in Spain in 1755, received a thorough training in mining geology at several of the leading European mining schools. He was appointed to an important post in New Spain (Mexico), where he arrived in 1788. There he devoted himself to reorganizing the administration of the mining industry and then to founding a School of Mines in Mexico City. This was opened in 1792, and in 1811 moved into the magnificent new building known as El Palacio de Minería, which now houses the Engineering School of the University. When an independent government was set up in Mexico in 1821, Elhuyar returned to Spain, where he continued to work for the government as a mining consultant. He prepared a report on the Rio Tinto mines and was responsible for the planning of the School of Mining Engineering in Madrid.
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