Jean-Jacques Dony

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Jean-Jacques Daniel Dony (24 February 1759 – 1819) was an inventor and industrialist, who was born in Liège, Belgium.

He invented a procedure for the industrial production of totally pure zinc. In 1806, Napoleon granted him a monopoly for the exploitation of the zinc mines of Moresnet, now in the Province of Liège in Belgium. These mines continued operating until the end of the 19th century.

From the exploitation of the Moresnet mines rose the 'Vieille Montagne Association' (French for Old Mountain), which later expanded its operations abroad (to France, Germany and Sweden (Zinkgruvan) among others). The activities of the association of the Old Mountain were taken over in 1989 by the Union Minière (Mining Union) group, which is known since 2001 as Umicore.

Dony died in poverty in 1819.

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