Rua 13 de Maio, 637, Bairro Alto da Cruz – Ouro Preto.
All year daily 9-17.
Adults BRL 50, Reduced BRL 25, Local free.
|Light:||Incandescent Electric Light System|
|Guided tours:||D=15 min.|
|Address:||Mina Felipe dos Santos, Rua 13 de Maio, 637, Bairro Alto da Cruz, Ouro Preto, Tel: +55-31-3551-4575, Cell: +55-31-98679-6467.|
|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.
|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 Felipe dos Santos was named after Felipe dos Santos, a famous member of the Inconfidência Mineira (Mine Conspiracy) of 1789. However, it remains unclear if he had any connection to this mine at all, there are tow other show mines in town, which claim that they were once owned by him. See Minas Fonte Meu Bem Querer for more info on this story.
This mine is one of hundreds of gold mines in town, and one of numerous tiny show mines. The owners of a property see other show mines and remember they have also a mine entrance in their backyard. So they open another show mine. There is no research, not much knowledge among the guides, and almost no infrastructure except the ticket office. But the price is the same as at the other show mines.
There is only a small handwritten sign made of scrap metal at the road, it's hard to find without a guide. The mine is advertised to have a lake and a waterfall. The lake is actually a small pool at the mine entrance (outside) where the water from the mine is collected. The "waterfall" is a side branch which is a meter higher than the main branch and the drainage water flowing out of this branch falls down one meter to join the drainage water of the main branch. That's quite sobering.