|Location:||Moyant la Gravoyére, near Angers.|
MAY to JUN Tue 14-17:30, Wed-Sun 10:30-17.
JUL to AUG daily 10:30-17.
SEP Tue 14-17:30, Wed-Sun 10:30-17.
OCT Sat, Sun 10:30-17.
Adults EUR 14, Children (4-11) EUR 9, Children (0-3) free, Family (2+*) EUR 43.
Groups (20+): Adults EUR 9.90, Children (5-11) EUR 6.40.
|Light:||Incandescent Electric Light System|
|Guided tours:||D=3 h, V=100,000/a .|
|Accessibility:||No, 150 steps.|
|Address:||Mine Bleue, La Gatelière, 49520 Noyant-la-Gravoyère, Tel: +33-241-943969, Fax: +33-241-943969. 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.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|1916||mine opened by the company Ardoisières angevines de Saint-Blaise.|
|1919||8 hour workdays introduced.|
|1920||additional changes for miners: social security and the right to retire at 55 after 30 years of service.|
|1927||almost 300 people working at the mine.|
|SEP-1935||highest production reached, 620t per month.|
|1936||mine closed because the main shareholder, the bank Bougère went bankrupt.|
|1985/1986||with the end of the local mining 300 jobs get lost, to save some the show mine is opeened.|
The slate of this area is interbedded with iron bearing ores, so in the area around Noyant-la-Gravoyère both slate and iron mines existed. However, the iron was not of good quality and the slate mines were always more profitable.
The Mine Bleue (Blue Mine) is the underground mine tour of a slate mine, named after the slightly blueish colour of the slate. The mine is entered with a funicular, a cable car, which goes down 130 m to the mining level. Here a mine train is mounted which brings the group to the place where the slate was mined during the 1930s. After a round trip by foot the mine is left agian with mine train and funicular railway.
The mine La Gatelière was opened in 1916 and closed after only 20 years in 1936. The closure was a result of the bankruptcy of the main shareholder, the bank Bougère, not of its rentability. The mine had reached a producation of about 620t per month and was operated by some 100 miners and 200 people working on the surface. Most of the slate was exported to Great Britain. When the mine was closed, several other iron mines and slate mine wer still operational in the area.
The end of the local mining, both iron and slate came around 1985. With this final closure some 300 jobs were lost in the rural area. The municipality of Noyant la Gravoyère tried to create some new jobs for the unemployed miners by opening a show mine. So the mine was renovated and became a successful tourist site.