culturadreamSW Porto Flavia
Suspended port, from which a very long tunnel starts, a place that dominates the coast, in the south-western part of Sardinia
Province: Province of Carbonia – Iglesias
Maximum altitude: 100 m a.s.l.
Location: Sea of Sardinia
The mining site of Masua was already known at the end of the seventeenth century, and this is testified by the presence of excavations, tunnels and stoves in the limestone for the search of lead and silver. In the modern age the first searches were carried out by a priest, Don Carlo Negretti, in 1813. In 1857 the research permit passed to Mr. P. Vacatello who gave it to the Società Anonima delle Miniere di Montesanto in 1863.
In 1862 Eng. A. Bonacossa built a small foundry downstream of the tunnels, the ancient excavations, now unproductive, were abandoned and the cultivation of new heaps of galena and calamine was started. This mineral was sorted and then sent to sieves to obtain lead. The remaining mixes were sent to the foundry. The foundry could treat 6000 tons. of 30% lead ore and had 6 wind ovens powered by an 8 HP steam engine. The foundry operated until 1890 producing over 25,000 tons. lead. The first houses of the workers were built around this foundry, a mechanical washing machine was also built and a pier was built for the loading of the mineral. At the end of the 19th century, the Masua mine was one of the most important on the island, with over 700 employees working in the Parodi, Podestà and Calligaris shipyards. The mining village located on the steep slope of Punta Cortis had a school, a hospital, a church, laboratories and other services.
In 1911 the concessions of the Montesanto company passed to the Anonima Miniere di Lanusei company (made up of Ligurian entrepreneurs) which was subsequently absorbed by the Vieille Montagne company. In 1915 Italy entered the war and the First World War forced production to stop.
In this period, 40 meters of quay were built in the port of Masua, which supported concrete pillars, joined at the top by sturdy iron beams, on which an electric lift ran (Ceretti and Tanfani). This electric lift grabbed the pins and lifted the crates loaded with mineral (1 ton.), And then emptied them into the hatches of the sailing boats bound for Carloforte.
In the 1920s the Montesanto Company was forced to sell the concession to the Anonymous Company of the Lanusei mines.
In 1943 the mine passed first to SAPEZ then to AMMI in 1956. After the war, research was also carried out in the limestone islet of Pan di Zucchero, but it was decided to continue the cultivation of the large Tacconis mass, located within the limits of the concession of Montecani. This mine like that of Acquaresi and that of Masua passed in 1922 to the Belgian company Vieille Montagne and became a single large mining complex, connected underground by the Lanusei Gallery. Vecelli devised a system to reduce the costs of transportation and loading of the mineral; Thus was born Porto Flavia, a daring engineering work that allowed the mineral stored underground to be loaded onto the steamers, using conveyor belts. In fact, 9 large silos were dug in the mountain located in front of the Sugar Loaf, capable of containing 10,000 tons. of mineral. Despite the modernizations, the world crisis of the 1930s after the Wall Street collapse also affected the Masua mine. due to the Second World War the mines managed by the Belgian companies passed to Italian companies. In 1947 the mines of Montecani, Enna Murta, Pubuxeddu, Acquaresi, Nebida and Masua were managed by SAPEZ-AMMI; Masua became a center for the treatment of ore, in fact in 1952 a modern 400 ton flotation plant was built. per day, vat ovens and Oxland ovens for roasting calamine.
With the management in the 60s by the AMMI, the cultivation of sulphides and oxidates from the Acquaresi mine was undertaken. These deposits were connected to the Masua treatment plant through the modern Carreggio Tunnel, called Ornella, 12 km long. This made it possible to reach the Marx and Scalittas shipyards and to transport 500.00 tons every year. of mineral. During the management of the AMMI, the mining area was divided into 6 administrative concessions: Enna Murta, Pala is Carrogas, Pubuxeddu, Montecani, Masua and Acquaresi. In 1963, the Ornella tunnel connected the mines of Masua, Montecani and Pubuxeddu: starting from 73 meters above sea level (Caligaris level), after a stretch of 850 m, it develops north through Masua and Pubuxeddu to head north towards Acquaresi and south towards Nebida. In this period the following mining bodies were cultivated: Massa Podestà, Massa Tedeschi, Masse 3 and 5, Mattoppa vein and Massa Misti. Masua then passed from AMMI Spa to management and passed to Piombo Zincifera Sarda, a company specifically set up by EMSA (1968) to take over the Pertusola concessions in Sardinia. Then followed the EGAM, the SIM and the ENI. In 1999, the mine’s yards and treatment plants were closed for economic reasons.