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Rio Tinto Mining

Rio Tinto Mining

The Rio Tinto area of Huelva boasts 3,000 years of mining history, from the Phoenicians then Romans, right up to to the 1990s. Today, as part of the Rio Tinto Mining Park you can visit the museum in the old hospital, the Peña de Hierro mine, and a Victorian-era British house; and take a 22km train ride.

The Story of Mary Herbert and Joseph Gage. Lady Mary Herbert, daughter of the second Marquess of Powis, and her lifelong admirer Joseph Gage, were legendary 18th-century adventurers who ran the Guadalcanal and Rio Tinto mine from the late 1720s to 1740s.

Campofrio is situated within the Comarca Minera (mining area) of El Andevalo and is said to have one of the oldest bullrings in Spain dating back to 1716. It has around 800 inhabitants.

La Granada de Rio Tinto is situated within the Rio Tinto mining district of El Andevalo, to the very far east of the province, bordering the Sierra de Aracena. It has 223 inhabitants.

Copper is a metal and chemical element with the symbol Cu. Its name derives from the Latin cuprum. It is a soft ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. A freshly exposed surface of pure copper has a reddish/orange colour.

El Campillo is situated very near Minas de Rio Tinto and covers an area of 91km², at an altitude of 434m above sea level. It sits in the centre of the Comarca de la Cuenca Minera de Riotinto (the Mining Basin of RioTinto) and has around 2300 inhabitants.

Nerva is located 4km east of Minas de Rio Tinto, and its fate has been similarly entwined with that of the famous mines. The mine you can visit as part of the Mining Park, Peña del Hierro, is located within the municipality of Nerva. The village has a population of about 6,000.

This is the mine which is open to visitors. It is10 km from Minas de Rio Tinto village - you drive in convoy leaving from the mining museum, following your guide in his vehicle (it's too complicated to explain on a map).

Casa Number 21 is a three-storey villa built in 1885, that was carefully restored in 2013 to show how a British family would have lived in late-Victorian Andalucia, complete with furniture, toys, jars of food and other domestic accoutrements. Its owner was a middle-ranking engineer, and his children, who lived there, helped advise on its decoration for the period restoration.

Arising out of the midst of the surrounding greenery, the giant opencast mines of Rio Tinto create a surreal, almost lunar landscape. The removal of layer upon layer of soil and rock, in the search for iron ore, copper, silver and a host of other mineral ores, has tinted this part of the world in hues of dusty pink, brown, yellow, red and grey.