Located in the outskirts of Iglesias (Sardinia, Italy), the Monteponi site has a unique place in the history of Italian mining activity.

The operation began in the second half of the 19th century, and it became rapidly one of the most advanced mining sites in the country. In less than 15 years from its opening, the Monteponi mine could benefit of the Vittorio Emanuele II and Sella two shafts but also of a 20 miles railway line that connected the mining site to Portovesme’s harbour. Before the end of the century, two modern gravity-separation plants – Laveria Calamine (1887) and Laveria Mameli (1893) – replaced the original treatment facilities.

The postwar development signalled the beginning of the end. The Italian national government tried several times to rescue and postpone the inevitable closure, especially during the Seventies. In the 1990s the mine was officially shut down. Despite being abandoned, Monteponi still represents one of the most important and beautiful pieces of industrial archaeology in Europe. ONE

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