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Lousame, mining nature

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San Finx Mining Museum: a journey through the memory of a village

The San Finx mines are an extraordinary opportunity to travel back in time and in the memory of a town, Lousame, whose history is closely linked to mining. Its rich geological, natural and industrial heritage makes it a unique space where visitors can enjoy a landscape of unique beauty while delving into the work and life of the mining population from the late nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century. The recovery and enhancement of this space is, therefore, an invitation to participate in a tourist-cultural initiative open to all people looking for different and enriching leisure alternatives.

The mining site of San Finx has been present in the universal history of mining since the Bronze Age, playing an essential role in the Phoenician trade. In the late Middle Ages, the exploitation of tin, probably destined for the workshops of tin and silver goldsmiths in Santiago de Compostela, was still recorded. However, it was at the end of the 19th century that San Finx acquired greater historical importance, with the creation of the British-owned company The San Finx Tin Minies Limited: the first tungsten mining operation in Spain and one of the first in Europe. The mine was equipped with the most advanced technical facilities and provided stable employment for 400 people. In 1940, the mine became the property of the Spanish capital company Industrias Gallegas S.A. In World War II, with the so-called tungsten fever, San Finx became an industrial focus of strategic interest. After the war, production normalised and continued until 1990, when mining was suspended and resumed in 2015.

Declared a Point of Geological Interest by the Spanish Geological Mining Institute, its surroundings also represent a natural area of great beauty and biological interest. It is an area made up of quartz seams that extend for about two kilometres. Its composition indicates relatively low formation temperatures (200ºC to 300ºC) and it is rich in tin and tungsten, which are rare in European deposits. In terms of industrial heritage, the Mining Museum reflects the evolution of the mine over more than a century of activity. In addition to the surface workings from ancient times and the more recent shafts, the preserved constructive elements (warehouse, gravimetric wash house, compressor building and electrical hook-up, framework of the new shaft, etc.) are of particular interest. In this industrial archaeology, it is also worth noting the existence of equipment, some of which is still in perfect use, such as cross-belt magnetic separators, a tin smelting furnace and a compressor, among others.

Since its restoration and the subsequent process of museumisation, carried out in various phases, San Finx has received some 10,000 people. The most valuable aspect of the visitor figures is that each year it has managed to improve on the previous year’s figure, so the results are viewed with great optimism.

San Finx: great history and great future.

Information and registration for guided tours:

T 981 820 494 – 679583332