Mine of San Giorgio
San Giorgio - Iglesias (SU)
Site Category: Mining
This silver-bearing lead deposit was first discovered in the 15th century by the Pisans, who extracted the ore to supply their Mint at Iglesias. Numerous findings and signs of their activity have come to light around the trenches, at times 100 m deep. Industrial mining began instead in 1870 when the concession was acquired by the Monteponi company.
The company's engineers created the Santa Barbara shaft, equipping it with a 40 HP steam engine to facilitate ore extraction. However, despite these important technological innovations, the mine's output never reached high levels: the peak came in 1880 with 1500 tonnes of run-of-mine lead-zinc ore (40% lead).
Although the mine was extended to lower levels at the end of the 19th century, production continued to decline, placing the company's accounts in the red and eventually forcing Monteponi's CEO, Roberto Cattaneo, starting from the early years of the century to implement a gradual exit strategy, suspending investments and reducing the workforce until the mine was closed just before World War II (1940).