All year daily 8-11:30, 13:30-18.
Adults BRL 16, Children (6-12) BRL 8, Children (0-5) free, Seniors (65+) free.
|Guided tours:||L=320m, D=30min.|
|Address:||Mina de Visitação Octávio Fontana, R. Quintino Dal Pont, s/n - Arquimedes Naspolini, Criciúma - SC 88810-800, Tel: +55-48-3445-8734.|
|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.
|1995||mine closed, mining ended.|
|28-OCT-2011||opened to the public.|
The Mina de Visitação Octávio Fontana (Octávio Fontana Show Mine) is an abandoned coal mine. Santa Catarina is the largest coal producer in Brazil, mainly in the city of Criciúma and its surroundings. The coal is mainly used in thermoelectric plants that consume about 85% of the production. While it was still operative the mine was named São Simão Mine. The coal mine covered an area of 15 hectare and reached a depth of 22m below the surface. It was mined until the 1960s and then closed, but in 1980 it was reopened and operated until the reserves were mined out in 1995.
The coal mine has an underground tour with railroad tracks, a ride on the steam powered mining train is part of the tour. The 1922 steam locomotive was built by Maffei in Germany. The steam is heated with diesel.
Inside the visitors walk through the horizontal tunnel which is a mining exhibition with typical equipment. The coal seams are horizontal, the walls show dozens of thin coal seams interbedded with thin sandstones or cherts. The height of the tunnel depends on the thickness of the coal seams. The guides show a block of coal from the mine and how the quality was reduced by the stone layers in the coal. There are dummies with miner working clothes and a typical miners meal.
The miners all over the world are superstitious, the use any luck they can find including religious bribery. In Europe they normally pray to Saint Barabara, the patron saint of the miners. Here in Brazil they have their own lourdes grotto named Grutinha na Mina de Visitação. Obviously the Virgin Mary beats Saint Barbara in the protection business.
The site management organizes special dinners and lunches for groups of up to 50 people looking for a different experience inside the mine.