The Alquife mines

This was the biggest and most successful of the Almerian mines. Although strictly speaking the mines themselves were in Granada Province, the most spectacular item, El Cable Ingles, was in Almeria. Because of its size and importance, there is a great deal to cover and at the moment (2009) I have other things upon which to concentrate. However, I became interested in the 3-phase electric engines that were used early on, so I have written an article about them.

This page is under construction

The Almeria Focus November 2012

An article in this magazine suggests that because the price of iron ore has risen steeply (from 12 dollars per tonne in 1996 to 100 dollars per tonne today) it may be worthwhile re-opening the mines.

It estimates that there are some 90 million tonnes of ore still left to be extracted, with a life expectancy of at least 20 years for the mine.

However there are problems. Almeria is not keen to have ore exports to resume at the port because of the dust and noise pollution. The old embarcadero, El Cable Ingles, is no longer in a fit condition to be used and is now a listed preserved building. In addition, the triangular warehouse, known as the Toblerone due to its shape, is due for demolition with flats occupying the site.

Along the coast, Carboneras would be amenable to the idea but does not at the moment have any rail link. The suggestion has been made to link in to the new Murcia to Almeria AVE line at Venta del Pobre. However this is now much delayed and may not be completed until 2019.

My thoughts - Although there is much to be done on the AVE line in Murcia province (see the history page), a large part of the line from Venta del Pobre to Almeria has been completed and a goods line linking the Linares line towards Alquife would, I think, be feasible. However, I consider that it would be unlikely that great heavy goods traind would be wanted thundering along and AVE line. Regarding the section from Venta del Pobre to Carboneras, the track of the old line to Agua Amarga (see the Lucainena to AguaAmarga page) still exists and could well form the basis of the new line.

©Copyright Don Gaunt

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