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Guspini-Arbus (Italy)

2006 - 2013

In the mountainous south-west of Sardinia, lead, zinc and silver were extracted and processed in the Montevecchio mining complex from 1848 to 1991 uninterruptedly. Today an outstanding symbol of the rich mining history and heritage of the island, Montevecchio is a world apart. The mining and processing facilities, scattered across a wild Mediterranean landscape, were organized in two main sites, Levante (east) and Ponente (west). To the first one belonged the Mezzena mine with its impressive Principe Tomaso enrichment plant, built in 1877 and significantly enlarged in the 1930s. A few kilometers away, the Ponente site included the huge Sanna mine, with the old shaft opened in 1860, and the Telle mine. In the second half of the 1930s, the joint takeover of the former Miniere di Montevecchio by Montecatini chemical group and Monteponi metallurgical industries provided a major input to the development of the mining activities. Montevecchio remained a leading lead and zinc mining center until 1966, when, once absorbed by the newly created Montedison group, it began to loose its importance within the group's industrial strategy. Transferred to the state-owned Sogersa (EGAM) in 1971 and to Samim (ENI) in 1976, the mining complex went through a slow and progressive downsizing, which ended up with the dramatic 27-day long occupation of Amsicora shaft in May 1991. 

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