Minas Chico Rei

Mine of Chico Rei - Little King's Mine - Minas Encardideira

Useful Information

Location: Ouro Prêto, close to the church Nostra Seniora da Conceição. (20°23'10.43"S, 43°29'59.25"W)
Open: All year daily 8-18. [2007]
Fee: Adults BRL 6, Children (0-7) free. [2007]
Classification: MineGold Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: D=45min
Address: Minas Chico Rei, Rua Dom Silvério 108, Ouro Prêto, Tel: +55-31-3552-2866.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1702 mine opened.
1740 Galanga brought to Brazil as a slave.
1745 Galanga bought his freedom.
1888 mine closed.


Mina Chico Rei is named after an African king who was enslaved with his tribe and brought to Brazil. His name was Galanga, and he was from the Congo. When the Portuguese slave traders noticed his authority amongst his compatriots, they nicknamed him Chico Rei (little king).

Galanga had to work hard in the gold mines, but he was hiding flakes of gold about his body and in his hair. After five years he had enough gold to buy his freedom. Later he freed his son and together they were able to buy this mine, which was at this time called Mina Encardideira. They mined the gold and spent all the money they earned to free other slaves and to build the curch Santa Efigênia.

Mina Encardideira is one of the biggest gold mines in the area and has many kilometers of tunnels. It cuts through the banded iron formation. The gold was mined from gold bearing quartz veins, a few can still be seen today.