Mina du Veloso

Mina de Ouro du Veloso

Useful Information

Location: R. Levindo Inácio André, 180 – São Cristóvão – Ouro Preto.
(-20.376356, -43.516059)
Open: All year daily 9-18.
Night visit by appointment.
Fee: Adults BRL 40, Reduced BRL 20.
Classification: MineGold Mine
Light: LightLED Lighting
Guided tours: D=60 min, L=200 m.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Mina du Veloso, R. Levindo Inácio André, 180, Bairro São Cristóvão, Ouro Preto, MG 35400-000, Tel: +55-31-3551-0792, Cell: +55-31-98745-3494. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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18th century mine opened.


Ouro Prêto sits right on an outcrop of banded iron formation. This formation is a sedimentary rock with many layers of iron ore, often altered to iron oxide especially ochre. There are also copper deposits, which sometimes are transformed to malachite. The dark rocks were the reason for its name Ouro Prêto which means black gold as a reference to the dark colour of the local gold, which contains a lot of iron oxides. However, the gold is mostly bound to gold bearing quartz veins, not to the iron.


Mina du Veloso (Mine of the Fleece) is a well developed show mine of the manually dug gold mine type. It is located in a northwestern suburb of Ouro Preto named São Cristóvão. The mine passage is sometimes rather low, and it is required to stoop. They explain that's because the work was often done by children, but we guess it's just a strategy to reduce the work. The mine was operated by Portuguese owners, but the miners were mostly slaves. They were normally not allowed out of the mine and stayed there until they finally became too sick to work.

One of the passages contains speleothems, which formed since the mine was dug and are thus very young. They also must grow very fast, so they consist not of calcite as normal stalactites and stalagmites, they are formed by minerals which were dissolved by the groundwater from the rock, probably metal oxides. The passage can be seen on the tour, but not entered. There is also a pool with crystal clear water which is collected in the mine. Despite its clearness it contains a lot of minerals which are unhealthy, so it is not suitable as drinking water.