ENVIRONMENTAL delegate for the Junta de Andalucia regional government in Almeria, Antonio Martinez, attended events on Saturday (May 7) to mark the 50th anniversary of the closure of the Rodalquilar mines.
The event was held at the Casa de los Volcanes, in Rodalquilar, as part of activities programmed to mark the 10th Week of European Geoparks, aimed to spread knowledge on geological, historical and mining heritage.
Rodalquilar, a tiny village with barely 200 inhabitants, became a hive of activity with more than 1,000 residents, a cinema, cooperative store and social club, after gold was found at the end of the 19th century in the existing lead and zinc mines.
The mines, at one point the largest cyanidation plant in western Europe, closed down altogether in 1966.
The Casa de los Volcanes, where the gold was treated and Rodalquilar’s first gold ingot set, was turned into a visitors’ centre displaying the mine’s history.