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Mining landscape in Sardegna
--Brief History--
Monteponi mine (Lead, Zinc, Silver) was known since 1324 and became famous during the XIII century. 1850 signed the birth of the first industrial company, called "Società di Monteponi", ran by the entrepreneur Paolo Atonio Nicolay. During the second half of XIX century was built the little company town nearby the most importan installations: Shaft "Vittorio Emanuele", "Nicolay" and "Villamarina" mechanical washeries. These two were replaced in 1899 by two modern ones: "Calamine" washery (which used hydro-sieves and magnetic-selectors machineries) and "Mameli" whasery (an hydrogravimetric one, for fine pieces). In 1926 was built a huge Zinc electrolysis plant (planned by a famous Italian chemist, Livio Cambi): its purpose was to recover Zinc - by the use of electrolysis - from minerals that cannot be worked by washeries. One of the problems was that this plant needed a lot of sulphuric acid for the working process. It was so decided to produce the acid right on the place: some years later a sulphuric acid plant was ready to start. During the same years was putted on stream a plant to manufacture Zinc oxid, used for many purposes. Sulphuric acid plant and Zinc oxid one were localized on a site called "Scalo" (that means "freigh station"): in fact, from here a private railway linked the Monteponi mining complex to Portovesme harbour, to send Lead and Zinc to foundries on the mainland. During the post-war period the complex was modernized mostly in the matter of machineries and mechanical excavators for gallieries. From the 70s the mine was owned by SAMIM private-state mining company, which decided to close the mine instead of Campo Pisano mine increase, in 1985.
Today the entire complex is under renovation and, preserved, will become a museum about the history of mining in Sardegna. Some parts will occupied by techinical faculties of Cagliari University. It is possible to visit some galleries and shafts with guided tours; I've tried it, worth a visit.

--About the picture--
This view includes every part of Monteponi mine. It was taken by San Giovanni mine, precisely from the "Idina" washery.
From the top-left: the upper group of buildings is the mine itself, including shafts and electrolysis plant (and behind them the mining town); right below we find the "red muds" (slag dump), then in the foreground the sulphuric acid plant (bigger buildings) and the Zinc oxid plant (smaller buildings on the right - it can be seen a rotative-oven, a Waelz one); in the foreground it's visible the little railway bridge; moving to the right we found the ruins of "Mameli" washery and on the extreme right the powerhouse.
Fotografin / Fotograf:Marcello Modica
Alle Bilder von:Marcello Modica - anzeigen
Hinzugefügt am:01.Februar 2009
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