Minas Do Palácio Velho

Useful Information

Location: R. Dom Silvério, 159, Ouro Preto MG 35400-000.
(-20.386060, -43.498910)
Open: All year daily 9-17.
Classification: MineGold Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: L=108 m.
Address: Minas Do Palácio Velho, R. Dom Silvério, 159, Ouro Preto MG 35400-000, Tel: +55-31-3552-5091, Cell: +55-31-98589-9182. 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.


18th century mine opened.
2019 opened to the public.


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.


Minas Do Palácio Velho (Old Palace Mines) is a rather young venue. It seems they are not simply a show mine, they also offer day trips with various topics for tourists. However, while they have a website, it consists only of marketing babble and lacks any factual information. They actually do not even give their address, which is required by law in civilized countries. If this website wasn't listed on the website of the city Ouro Preto we would have guessed it was a phishing website, which was made to collect email addresses.

The show mine on the other hand actually exists and seems to be one of the better ones in Ouro Preto. The tour is a through tour, the mine is entered through an adit at the hillside behind the house. At the far end of the passage the mine is left through a metal staircase up a huge opening in the ceiling. It's not clear if this is collapse of the mine or if they just reached the surface during mining. The visit also includes a small exhibition of mining related artifacts in front of the mine entrance.