The history of wolfram began in 1881, when a peasant, originally from Casegas, discovered in Panasqueira, a place belonging to the S. Jorge da Beira parish (at the time called Cebola), some very heavy black rocks. These were identified as wolfram and from there the Couto Mining of Panasqueira was born.

The constant valuation of this ore, especially during World War II, made thousands of people abandon farming to dedicate themselves to the extractive activity in various forms, as employees of mining companies and concessions, or by the kilo, as self-employed workers in concession areas, or in the saltipilha regime, clandestine and illegal, where the ore was smuggled. The rush for the black gold and the quick and fleeting fortunes nurtured an imaginary between the comic, the romanesque and the tragic which are still very present in these communities.

The search and extraction did not limit itself to the Couto Mining of Panasqueira, still today in full activity, but also in other locations which have been since abandoned, such as Cortes de Meio, Argemela (Barco e Lavacolhos) and Peso.

Along the landscape there are many traces from those various forms of mining. The Barroca Grande is a place that is still full of mining life, where tones of rock are extracted for treatment on a daily basis, where dozens of men descend the mine in 3 daily shifts.
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Foto Beralt Tin and Wolfram
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