Minas de Manganeso de Puras de Villafranca

Useful Information

Location: Puras de Villafranca, 09258 Belorado, Burgos
Open: All year Sun 17.
For groups (10+) with advance booking: all year Wed-Sun 10-14, 16-20.
Fee: Adults EUR 5.
Groups (15+): Adults EUR 4.
Classification: MineManganese Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: D=2 h.
Address: Minas de Manganeso de Puras de Villafranca, Oficina de Turismo, Plaza Mayor, 09258 Belorado, Tel: +34-947-580815. E-mail: contact
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.


1799 first mine opened.
1963 Mina Victoria closed.
1965 mining ended.
2005 beginning of development.
15-DEC-2008 show mine opened to the public.


The limestone conglomerate around the small village Puras de Villafranca is karstified and has numerous cave. It also contains deposits of manganese, to be exact pyrolusite (MnO2). The deposit was noted for its purity, which reduced the cost for processing the ore.


Around the samll vilage Puras de Villafranca there a numerous Minas de Manganeso (manganese mines). The visit to the mines includes three mines, the Mina Victoria, the Mina el Comenziendo (The Beginning), and the Mina Pura (The Pure). It also includes a vist of several communal buidings like the communal bakery and the station of the small electric railroad which ends here. The Visitor Center with its museum is located in the former manganese washer of the Mina Victoria. The former offices of the Mina Pura are used for workshops and educational activities for schools.

The mining started at the begin of the 19th century, first only mining for the local demand. With the industrial revolution and the introduction of the railroad, the demand for manganese increased. It is used to produce ferromanganese, am iportant steel aloy. Around 1850 a Begian company invests in the mining and several mines are opened. But the mining had ups and downs. Only ten years later mining seems to have ceased, as there is no more account of it. And again 10 years later it is described as the most productive manganese mine of Spain, producing 4,500 quintals (450 tons) per year.

And there have been attempts to monopolize the manganese production. The Pincher family, which had almost a steel monopoly in Europe, tried to buy all manganese mines for its furnaces in the 1890. The demand was high, but the price was low and dropped in 1895, and so many mines closed. Interestingly, in this year a new mine was opened in Pura and then two more, all of them became productive as soon as the price went up again.

In the early 20th century the demand for manganese was high and the price stable. The manganese was exported to England, and according to Belorado Mayor Luis Jorge del Barco the Titanic was built of manganese from Pura. This, he hastens to say, had nothing to do with its sinking.