Mining Landscapes

Cómo limpiar herramientas oxidadas

Cómo limpiar herramientas oxidadas

La Siera Minera

The mining activity has developed mainly in a central belt of the Sierra of about 12 kilometers in an East-West direction for 7 kilometers in a North-South direction. Within this belt, the most prominent elements are widely scattered throughout the territory, although they can be grouped into sets or itineraries around the access roads to the mines.

The numerous mineral deposits extend over the central area of ​​the Sierra, about 50 square kilometers, distinguishing distinct formations: mantles, reefs,

The history of the Sierra Minera begins 20 million years ago, emerging from the sea of ​​the clash of continental plates. After millions of years of metamorphic, volcanic and hydrothermal processes the "Mantle of the Blues" is formed, the first color of the Sierra Minera, the bluish green of the greenalite. And its DNA is completed with other colors: the red of the almagre or almagra, iron oxide used as dye; the yellow-brown limonite, a hydrated ferric hydrate; and the browns of the mineral ocher, iron oxide with mixtures of clays and with variable proportions of oxides of manganese.

The exploitation by Carthaginians and Romans left their mark on the territory: roads, villages, foundries, mosaics , lintels, tunnels of galleries, a port (Portman, the Portus Magnus Romano) and "the raja" of Cabezo Rajao, impressive openwork, silver supplier for the Empire.

Aspect of "The Raja ", with the chimney of the Monserrat Mine in the background.

Technology evolves, unlike winches being driven by animals, the castles are moved by steam engines and later by electric motors. The chimneys of the steam engines multiply next to those of the foundries, forming a typical industrial landscape of the nineteenth century.

Steam engine chimney.

Small industrial buildings, such as ships and workshops, had the primary purpose of sheltering workers, and are therefore solved with great economy: masonry walls or brick, rectangular plant and gable roof. These buildings were constructed and designed by the same architects and masters of works that in the second half of the XIX projected in Cartagena or The Union, and it is for this reason possible to detect similar architectural details in the houses of these cities and in the engine houses. In the industrial architecture of the mining areas there are no great stylistic innovations, but there are demonstrations of good craftsmanship, almost artisanal.

In the middle of the twentieth century begin the opencast, once grouped the property into hands of the French multinational Peñarroya. It is the moment of the great transformations of the territory: short, tailings and rafts, that devastated with many installations that to have arrived at our days would have turned to the Mining Minera in an impressive mining museum open-air.

The cuts, dumps and rafts occupy large areas of the Sierra Minera. The main open-air holdings occupy an area of ​​182 hectares, producing also waste dumps that occupy 527 hectares. Only the largest raft (New Swamp) has a volume of 7,150,000 m3.

Cómo reparar un zócalo de madera
Cómo reparar un zócalo de madera

The most characteristic of the Sierra Minera are wood, of which there is great variety, both four and six legs. The use of one or the other depended on the importance of the mine. The woods were mainly Canadian pine, also used oak and other varieties of pine (tea, the Country, Oregon and red). Some were reinforced with metal profiles.

Wooden castillet of the María Jesús Mine. The situation of abandonment and deterioration has caused many damages in the castles. In this case, the turned rail that existed on the platform disappeared.

The extraction houses or engine houses were the buildings that housed the extraction machinery, which obtained the energy of steam engines, replaced later by electric motors. The chimneys that are conserved in many of the houses of extraction served for the evacuation of the fumes of the steam engines.

The extraction houses were simple constructions, rectangular in shape, with a solid brick facing brick or hollow brick and plastered. The decks are gable with truss structure made of pine wood from the country, Oregon or Canada and flat or curved tile. Often the cornices were solved with successive layers of brick in different positions, forming geometric games very common in the traditional architecture of the Union.

It was also customary to use the brick in an ornamental sense in the recercados of the holes .

The fireplaces are solid brick seen taken with lime mortar. Its height varies between 8 and 28 meters. The section of the stems is circular or square. They usually start from a square or polygonal plinth. The transitions between the sections are solved with brick moldings that repeat geometric motifs of varied designs, sometimes reaching more than ten rows.

The state of conservation of existing chimneys is quite deplorable, many are cracked and some threaten to collapse. Of the 21 cataloged, ten are from steam engines, seven from foundries, one from a magazine and three others are not related to mining.

There are 21 ovens or groups of ovens cataloged. Most are manganese calcination. They were kilns similar to those used to obtain gypsum, cylindrical in shape, from 4 to 7 m high and from 3,60 m to 4,50 m in diameter, made of masonry and lined with refractory bricks, which sometimes appear by the top. Outwardly they were lined with lime mortar and reinforced with iron strips and belts.

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