It is located in the Parish of Coelhoso, Council and District of Bragança.

The first license was granted to Jeremi Girod and Damião Lopes in 1868, in 1927 the Compagnie Miniére de la Ribeira became its legitimate dealership. In 1948 the Company is transferred to Companhia Minas, Minérios e Metais (Lage, 2000).

When arriving at Minas of Ribeira we meet the silence of abandoned mounds that are waiting for us. On the ground, it’s still possible to find traces of ancient exploitation. The neighborhoods, the workshops, some abandoned machines and objects make us imagine the busy lives of that time (Lage, 2000).

This mine, with 150 years of history has many collective memories, and it’s still the center of attention of the local community. The tungsten was its main asset, it had ups and downs in the exploitation and like all other mines, it had its golden age during World War II, when it came to employ about 2000 people. By this time, there were so many mine workers that it was necessary to open a school, in order to respond to the miners who wanted to provide education to their children (Lage, 2000).

The truth is that there was a strong, cohesive and organized mining community, where they lacked nothing. These are memories we intend to preserve, stories experienced in the hard life of the mine that illustrate the everyday life, of those who lived there. Those were glorious days, full of mythical stories that emphasize the difficulties of current desertification, since the village has lived days of great opulence (JFC, 2011).

Local population wants to recover the mines, through a touristic use, thus trying to avoid the desertification of the village.

"The mine is deep... we went down thought this cage ... and got out down there, on the other side by the river and the vegetable gardens ... when they left the mine, they went to work the vegetable gardens ... this was the doctor's office ... this X-ray machine has recently stopped working… They left things all ruined ..." [1st Interview in Argozelo. Cipriano and the foreman JLMartins, with the nickname of "Zé Pedreiro". Mines of Argozelo and Ribeira, in April and October 1998] (Lage, 2000: 198).

Category: Industrial Heritage

These mines are located in the Councils of Covilhã and Fundão, District of Castelo Branco.

The first known documentation of these mines is in the City Hall of Covilhã, dating back to April 15th, 1886. This documentation recognizes Manuel Santos and Boaventura Borrel as discoverers of tungsten in Minas of Panasqueira.

It is also specified that in 1894, King Charles I of Bragança has granted the first license to them.

The industrial start of these mines, will only happen with the grant awarded and published in the Diário do Governo - Government Gazette on the 25th of November 1898, to the Sociedade de Minas de Volframio em Portugal -  Society of Volfram mines in Portugal, with headquarters in Lisbon, the owning company was Almeida, Silva Pinto & Comandita, that made Wolfram mines Exploitation in Covilhã and Fundão.

The first Englishman to become interested in Panasqueira was the Count Burnay. He had bought the company in Portugal and later leased it to a British firm, which, however, came disinterested in the business. Count Burnay continued the exploitation in 1904. Major industrial investments were made, namely the construction of the washing section of Cabeça do Pião and the opening of the first galleries. Later, this led to a significant increase of production.
With the evolution of the company, in 1911, the company Wolfram Mining and Smelting Company was formed, which had as its general manager, Frederick Cowper. The company purchased all the concessionary rights, together with buildings and equipment, occupying an area of 125 hectares of land.

Coinciding with World War I, mining operations have undergone some changes. In between, until the Second World War, there were small individual grants to people who worked on their own behalf, recovering small amounts of tungsten that were then sold to the company. They were called "Kilo".

In 1928, the company changed its name to Beralt Tin & Wolfram Limited, still having this name. There is a significant growth in the exploiting market, which led to new investments. Later, in 1934, these investments have come to be rewarded with the outbreak of the war of 1939-1945.

During this warfare period, the mines of Panasqueira, Barroca Grande (council of Covilha) and Cabeço do Pião (council of Fundão) have reached a very high important level, becoming one of the largest mines and creating an unprecedented activity.

They closed in 1944, by decree of the Portuguese Government. However, they were rapidly recovered, using more efficient methods of operation. A year later the price fell dramatically, but the demand for this ore comes back when the Korean War emerges.

Category: Industrial Heritage

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Category: Industrial Heritage

Mine of Sombras (Shadows Mine)

Lobios is one of the municipalities with high archaeological heritage of the province of Ourense, where we underline their old holdings of wolfram, the Mine of Sombras, at the source of the river Vilameá, whose activity ceased in the 70s of last century. It was during World War II one of the greatest sources of wealth of the municipality and has provided large amounts of wolfram to the Germans.

Currently it’s abandoned and its access is difficult. The road is unpaved and in poor condition. But at this place we still can find the ruins of buildings that belonged to these mines.

Category: Industrial Heritage

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