Cabril Grind Wolfram Mines


  In the municipality of Castro Daire there were three tungsten mining sites, the Pombeiro mines, Mões mines and Moimenta de Cabril mines. The Moimenta mines were mined during World War II by an English company from which tungsten and tung were extracted. Tungsten deposits form part of a set of tungsten and tin deposits that are distributed from Galicia to Castile (Spain) across northern and central Portugal, referred to as “Stano-Wolframitic Province”. Mineralizations occur in quartz and pegmatite veins intruded on the Moimenta granite slab belonging to the Montemuro Massif. The Moimenta stain is elongated and meandering in the form of a medium-grained porphyroid granite outcrop situated between Moimenta, Tulha Nova, Sobrado, Sobreda and Levadas. According to testimonies of former miners, it was a fairly mechanized mining complex. The galleries were opened with the help of explosives and pneumatic hammers that used about 35 millimeter drills, drilling more than one meter in length. The extracted material was dumped in a mechanical hammer powered by a diesel engine, where it was crushed, and went to the now-ruined laundry room where the first tungsten was separated.

  Cabril Wolfram mines, now disabled, are not just an abandoned site with sporadic visits. These are the memories of people who sweated, suffered laughs, cried and who daily fought against tiredness.

  The area identified as geosite develops around the exploration of a geological resource, wolfram and tin, in the middle of the last century. Tungsten deposits form part of a tungsten and tin deposits that are distributed from Galicia to Castile (Spain) across northern and central Portugal, defining the so-called “Stano-Wolframitic Province” (Neiva, 1944).

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