Volume One of Then, There Were Mines examines the History, Science and Technology that shaped the Sierra Almagrera's mining heritage.

  • A look at the geography and geology of the Sierra Almagrera
    What was being mined and how those minerals were used
  • How lumps of argentiferous galena were turned into ingots of lead and silver
    The foundries where this alchemy took place
  • Prospecting, how the mines developed, under the restrictive laws governing them
    The arrival of the foreigners as the laws were relaxed
  • Extraction, a look at winches, whims and head-frames as time moves on
    The how and why of the holes in the ground
  • The losing battle against the thermal waters in the depths
    The pumping stations that were themselves money down the drain
  • Franco's re-awakening of El Arteal with the Santa Barbara tunnel, linking 139 mines
    And, yet even more money down the drain
  • Ball mills, spiral classifiers, gravity washers and froth floatation tanks, a modern lavadero
    In sickness and in health, love, life and times in this mining community