• F21;
  • L72;
  • N55;
  • N85;
  • O33
  • tin mining;
  • history;
  • foreign investment;
  • Australia;
  • Thailand;
  • Malaysia;
  • Burma

This article examines the role of Australian capitalists in developing the tin dredging industry in South-East Asia. The capital intensive nature of the industry required substantial preparatory investment in prospecting, and the formation of many different kinds of alliances. The group that played the major role in demonstrating the viability of tin dredging was unable to make the transition to the mature stage of the industry. While others were more successful, most felt their properties were best administered by an English group. The dominant role played at the beginning of the century became quite marginal by the outbreak of World War II.