Carrière de Bocheresse


Useful Information

Location: 1948 Bagnes.
Bonatchiesse.
(46.014842, 7.324134)
Open: JUL to AUG Fri 10-15.
[2022]
Fee: free.
[2022]
Classification: MineTalc Mine SubterraneaRock Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: T=8 °C, H=20 m, W=30 m, L=50 m, A=1,834 m asl.
Guided tours: Français - French
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:  
Address: Carrière de Bocheresse, 1948 Bagnes.
Châble tourist office, Tel: +41-27-775-38-70.
Verbier tourist office, Place Centrale, 1936 Verbier, Tel: +41-27-775-38-88. E-mail:
Maison de la Pierre Ollaire, Chemin des Fontaines 8, 1947 Champsec, Tel: +41-27-776-15-25. 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.

History

1830 begin of quarrying.
~1900 mine temporarily a massive collapse.
1904 mining resumed with the drilling of a new gallery.
1935 mining ended.
2010 opened to the public.

Geology

Soapstone or steatite is a homogeneous rock with an off-white colour, and consists of small grains of talc and magnesite. It is very soft, only 1 on the Mohs Sale, and feels soupy when touched, hence the name. But it is also very resistant against heat, hence its use for fire places and ovens. It is also used for the production of talcum powder.

Description

The Carrière de Bocheresse was an underground quarry for soapstone or steatite. The rock was used for bagnards, the famous local rock ovens which keep the temperature for hours. The mine was finally closed in 1935.

The meeting point for the mine tour is at Bonatchiesse. From here it's a two-hour ascent to the mine. Good walking shoes and a jacket are required. Helmet and a headlamp are provided.

Examples for such oven can be seen at the Maison de la Pierre Ollaire museum in Champsec. It has a workshop where soapstone bagnards were made of soapstone from Bocheresse for almost a century.