Chile and Zambia both have abundant copper deposits. The availability of natural resources (NR) in general - and copper in particular - constitutes an important asset (or source of wealth) for a developing country. Thus, the existence of copper could be considered a sort of “divine blessing” capable of solving problems of underdevelopment. On the other hand, different conceptual currents have presented the hypothesis of the “curse of NR,” complemented with empirical information from studies suggesting that (developing) countries that are rich in NR perform relatively worse (i.e. lower growth rates). In addition, there are a number of (developing) nations that do not possess NR and which have experienced high levels of growth. The examples of Chile and Zambia are two apparently opposing cases that will serve to back the hypothesis of the “blessing” or the “curse” of NR. The “curse of NR” predominates when the country in question fails to benefit from the availability of NR. So, it is important to know which factors make some (developing) countries take advantage of NR to foster their development, while others fail in the attempt. This is one of the main goals of this paper. Not only have the “curse of NR” and “Dutch disease” hypotheses oversimplified things, they are also misleading caricatures. It is not the case that a country’s economic growth and exchange rate depend exclusively on what happens with its main export commodity. Furthermore, as we have seen, empirical evidence from Chile and Zambia refutes the central ideas underlying these hypotheses.