At the beginning of the 19th century South Wales produced 90% of Britain’s copper and most of the smelting works were situated between Swansea and Neath. The heavy demand for coal led to uncertainty in supply with the resultant fluctuations in price. It is well known that Charles Nevill and his youngest son Richard Janion Nevill came to Llanelli from Swansea, with the intention ofestablishing and overseeing the construction of a copperworks. Father and son were acting on behalf of John Guest, a merchant and industrialist from Birmingham and William Savill, a copper merchant from London.
Coal was in plentiful supply in and around Llanelli and industrialists had already shown an interest in the area. It did not take the astute businessman, Charles Nevill, long to decide Llanelli would be the ideal location for a copperworks.