La Miniera Di Cogne

Centro Espositivo Alpinart


Useful Information

Location: Centro Visitatori Cogne - Fondation Grand-Paradis, Village Minier. A5 Torino-Aosta, exit Valle D'Aosta Spa, SR47 to the Vallone di Cogne. In Cogne at roundabout follow road to Gimillan. In the abandoned mine facilities uphill.
Open: Mine tour: Summer daily 10, 13, 15.
Alpinart: 26-DEC to 06-JAN daily 14-18.
[2020]
Fee: Adults EUR 3, Children (0-6) free, Students (19-25) EUR 1,50, Disabled free, Locals free.
[2020]
Classification: MineIron Mine Magnetite
Light: electric.
Dimension: T=4-7°C, H=85%
Guided tours: D=2h.
Photography:
Accessibility:
Bibliography:
Address: Centro Visitatori Cogne, Fondation Grand-Paradis, Villaggio Cogne, n.81, 11012 Cogne (AO), Tel: +39-0165-75301, Fax: +39-0165-749618 E-mail:
Coop. Mines de Cogne, Via Sonveulla, 11012 Cogne (AO), Tel: +39-0165-749665, Cell: +39-339-3360670 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

15th cty Cogne mine first mentioned.
1979 mine closed.
2017 mine tours opened to the public.

Geology


Description

The abanoned mine Miniera di Cogne is located at the slopes of the Aosta valley, above the town Cogne. But the Cooperativa Mines de Cogne seems to have offered mine tours lately. They had a website, which is gone, and a facebook page which still exists but gives no information except stupid reviews. So the following info is about the tours offered in 2017, which may or may not be discontinued.

The tours take place at the Costa del Pino mine site which is high above the valley (2,000m asl). While the mine still operated there was a cable way to the valley, which was used both for the ore and the miners. It is still operational, but not used for safety reasons. There is also a rather poor single lane dirt track. So you have the choice, start 1.5 hours earlier and walk or pay for a 4WD ride.

The tour starts at the cable way. Then you enter the compressor room which produced compressed air for the mine. The machinery of the mine worked completely with compressed air. Ask the statue of Santa Barbara for help when you enter the gallery, a 1km long tunnel which is fortunately used for a train ride and not for an extended walk. The mine train was used to bring ore out of the mine, but also the bring miners to and from their workplace. The tour also shows a shaft with a funicular that goes up to the 2,400m level of the Colonna mine.

Another mine, the Miniera di Colonna (2,400m asl) is a little further up the hill. It cannot be visited. It was inhabited until the mine was closed in the 1970s and was one of the highest mining villages in Europe. It was also one of the best equipped: it had a modern cinema when Cogne did not!

All those mines were used to mine magnetite, a very high grade iron ore. Magnetite contains enough iron, to become magnetic, hence the name.

While it is difficult to make a mine tour and visit the mine tunnels, it is possible to learn much about the local mining history. In the town Cogne there is a museum, which is integrated into the Gran Paradiso Park, named Centro Espositivo Alpinart. It has an impressive exhibition about the mining, history, geology, mineralogy, and mining technologies. Exhibits include tools and clothing of the miners, documents and photographs. There is a film shown named “Le Miniere”, which was produced in 1938 by Marco Elter for the Istituto Luce. The exhibition center is located at Anselmetti village (1,600m asl), right above the town Cogne. The abandoned mine buildings were mostly offices, but also the villas of the mine managers.