The 11th International Mining History Congress was held in Linares, Spain in September 2016 and widely regarded as the best ever. A week before joining the Congress, delegates from the Shropshire Caving and Mining Club explored historic mines and related structures in the West of Andalucía and Castilla-La Mancha.
Just a few of the many sites and events featured in these two DVDs are listed here:
In the First week we visited Rio Tinto Museum and Peña del Hierro opencast and had a rail journey beside the deep red Rio Tinto river, passing buildings and slag piles from many eras of mineral dressing and smelting, together with rail locomotives & rolling stock.
After a look at San Antonio mine and the huge trucks in Cerro Colorado working opencast, we finished the day at the Rio Tinto English house followed by a walk to the famous Corta Atalaya open pit.
An excursion was made to the well-preserved pier of the Rio Tinto railway in Huelva which has become a popular angling spot, and the journey back took in the large and notorious Aznalcóllar opencast copper mine.
Further afield, we toured the extensive preserved open pit and shaft workings around La Zarza and similar but less impressive remains at Tharsis.
On the way to Córdoba we visited the picturesque Villanueva del Rio y Minas coal mine with its 'Malakoff' tower style headframe on the upcast shaft.
A long time was spent at the huge Peñarroya Company smelter site followed by ancient and modern remains at Cerro Muriano including privileged access to an engine house on private land.
A day was spent experiencing the excellent surface and underground tours of Almadén mercury mine museum and the day ended with a trip to the Almadenejos horse whim.
Puertollano coal mine museum, with its steel headframe and nearby sites was another unique day out, and on the way back we drove through the former railway tunnel to the remote Horcajo mine village.
During Congress week we were able to re-visit the buildings and railway tunnel of of El Centenillo mine and also see La Aquisgrana mining museum.
Pozo Ancho Cornish engine houses were explored more closely and we saw the recent work done at the nearby La Cruz smelter and preserved lead shot tower.
We found some changes at La Esmeralda headframe & buildings, and explored Matacabras mine - the last to work in the area. El Cobre retained its headframe and cages and had a big surprise for all the delegates!
Many Cornish family names were noted in Linares English cemetery and we re-visited the extensive La Tortilla smelter and shot tower, followed by a look round San Guillermo mine.
Congress trips were dramatically rounded off at the vast excavation of Alquife opencast iron mine which closed in 1996 and may re-open soon.
There is more in the DVDs than has been mentioned here and between them they have over 180 chapter points, so it is easy to jump to your favourite subjects.
Thanks to Rob Vernon who researched & documented the sites in the first part of this DVD and to him and our friends in the Colectivo Proyecto Arrayanes for organising the excellent 11th International Mining History Congress in and around Linares.
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The images on this page are taken from the video.