Mine of Barraxiutta
Site Category: Mining
The mine of Barrasciutta (or Barraxiutta) is located in the Oridda valley, at the point where the two streams Rio Sa Duchessa and Gutturu Melfi meet. There is evidence that its deposits were already exploited by the Phoenicians, Carthaginians and Romans.
Modern industrial activity started in 1866 when the mining concession was granted to the Societa Monte Santo which began extraction of lead ore. According Quintino Se/la's report On the condition of the mining industry on the island of Sardinia, in the first five years of its operation this mine yielded more than 5,000 quintals of commercial-grade ore, including galena and cerussite (lead carbonate).
In 1903 zinc minerals also started to be extracted. Seven years later the concession was taken over by the Societa Miniere di Lanusei, a subsidiary of the multinational Belgian company Vieille Montagne, which from 1929 obtained the perpetual concession directly. In 1938, following termination of the Belgians' license, the national public company AMMI took on the mine which it operated together with that of Sa Duchessa, in 1940 obtaining the concession for copper-bearing ore also. On the right hand side of the valley, AMMI installed a small flotation plant with a capacity of 90 tonnes per day. Near the plants, a small miners' and workers' village was built. Production declined from 1955 onwards due to the decrease in lead content in the ore and to negative trends on the national and international metal markets.
From 1964 activity was limited to prospecting followed by complete shutdown in 1968. In 1979 the mine was acquired by the ENI Group (through its companies SAMIN and SIM), which closed it down definitively.