The mines of the Sierra Almagrera

Map of the Almagrera mines

The Sierra Almagrera stretches along the coast from Villaricos towards the border with Murcia for about 10km. In that short distance were dozens of mines, going back to prehistoric times. Silver, tin, sulphur, lead and Iron have all been mined here. Some of these mines involved the engineer and later Archeologist, Louis Siret, who was famous for excavating the Los Millares site, qv. Like some of my other pages, progress is ongoing and I will add pictures and commentary as I am able.

On the right is a sketch map of the area. Note that this only shows iron mines, there were dozens of lead mines dug earlier and remains of these may be seen along the road to Aguilas.

Cala Crystal and Cala Picotas


I know nothing about these two mines other than that they had cableways into the Sierra. Picotas went deep into the mountains to a mountain called Cabezo del Monje (Monk's Head). Th picture shows one of the many lovely coves along the road to Juan de los Terreros from Mojacar

Cala de las Conchas

This was one of the largest, certainly the most ambitious in terms of transport infrastructure. Galleries, tunnels, viaducts, inclined planes, hoppers, railways and loading bays, you could find all of these, and fortunately, in some areas you still can. Here is a pictorial description of the route taken on the seaward side of the sierra.

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The pictures above show, from left to right

The pictures below show, from left to right

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The pictures above show, from left to right


These mines were at one time run by Louis Siret,later archeologist - see the page on Los Millares. The ore was delivered to a cantilever pier at Villaricos. Only the pillar that supported the pier remains. Much of the old workings remain but are private property.

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The pictures above show, from left to right

The pictures below show, from left to right

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The pictures above show, from left to right

The lead mines

Most of my research has been associated with iron ore because that was what the GSSR carried. However, lead was big business many years before iron and the Sierra Almagrera is dotted with remains. So although I don't know anything about the mines, I have taken pictures of them before they disappear for ever.

The first two pictures were taken in Garrucha, the remainder along the coast road towards San Juan de los Terreros. The final picture shows a typical flue to take the poisonous gasses from smelting away from the workers. It was apparently the law that unlike iron ore, smelting lead had to be done in Spain.

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These sad remains are clinging to life (2008) but cannot last much longer. They are on the left about 3 km from Villaricos just before you cross the Almanzora river. They are situated on the front line of the advancing army of villas in Vera Playa.

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©Copyright Don Gaunt

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