Mine of Seddas Moddizzis
Seddas Moddizzis - Iglesias (SU)
Site Category: Mining
The name of this lglesiente mine is associated in collective memory with that of its unforgettable owner Giorgio, or rather Giorgino, Asproni, the first Sardinian engineer to take a specialisation in mining techniques at the famous school of St. Etienne. And also because he was perhaps the only independent - and local - mining entrepreneur to counter the overwhelming power of the foreign capitalists. Seddas Moddizzis, with its calamine riches, thus became his very own kingdom - house, family and work - and at the end of the 1920s it became all his own, through a perpetual concession, with the 200 hectares of land.
Asproni arrived at Seddas in 1885, as manager and concession holder, after his tenure at Montevecchio had ended due to the death of Giovanni Antonio Sanna who had been his mentor (Asproni even married one of Sanna's nieces). The mine had been taken over in concession fifteen years previously firstly by the Societa di Seddas Moddizzis, established by some prospectors who had found important lead deposits. But it was with Asproni's arrival - bent on exploiting the large calamine deposits - that both underground and surface operations developed apace, achieving annual output in excess of 10,000 tonnes. Construction of the hydro-gravimetric washery of Serra Scoris, commissioned in 1893, boosted production, leading Asproni to take over the entire company capital from the other shareholders in the second decade of the 20th century. Until his death in 1936 at more than 90 years of age, this Sardinion engineer was a kind of manager-patriarch, overseeing the small mining hamlet with its more than one hundred families, with all the care and attention of a good pater familias.
His numerous heirs gradually sold off their shares and the whole concession was taken over by Monteponi which in the 1960s, embarked on a project to join it to its other two mines in the lglesiente by means of a long haulage tunnel linking it to the new processing plant of Campo Pisano. However, the project dragged on and the new public managers - EGAM and ENI - who took the mine over in the 1970s and 1980s were unable to halt an irreversible crisis, which ended with the mine's closure and abandonment in the 1990s.