Mina La Dificultad

Useful Information

Location: Carretera Federal Pachuca-Tampico № 115, Barrio de Camacho, Mineral del Monte, Pachuca, Hidalgo.
(20.145413, -98.671832)
Open: All year Tue-Sun 10-18.
Fee: Adults MXN 40, Children (0-3) free, Students MXN 30, INAPAM MXN 30.
Foto Permit MXN 25, Video Permit MXN 50.
Classification: MineIron Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: with permit
Accessibility: no
Address: Mina La Dificultad, Carretera Federal Pachuca-Tampico № 115, Barrio de Camacho, Mineral del Monte, Pachuca, Hidalgo, Tel: +52-771-715-0976.
Archivo Histórico y Museo de Minería A.C., Calle Javier Mina No. 110, Col. Centro, Pachuca, Tel: +52-771-7150976, Tel: +52-771-7151833 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.


1824 mine opened.
05-JUN-1865 mine closed.
1889 steam engine for pumping water starts operation.
2008 owned by the Historical Archive and Museum of Mining, A.C.
13-MAY-2011 show mine opened to the public.


The mining town Mineral del Monte (Real del Monte) has numerous mines, and actually they mined various different ores. The most important products were silver, copper, iron, tin, and gold. The Mina La Dificultad is an iron mine, where goethite, hematite, and sphalerite were mined. Also, some manganese based minerals like rhodonite and manganite were found.


The full name is quite long and complicated, the site is called Museo de Sitio y Centro de Interpretación Mina La Dificultad. We shortened this, like most other sites, to Mina La Dificultad (Dificultad Mine). The abandoned mine is operated as a show mine by the MineMuseo de Minería de Pachuca. It uses the huge powerhouse, which is 14 m wide, 26 m long and 20 m high. The roof is made of iron trusses with corrugated sheets. The powerful Woolf system machine and the 40 m high octagonal chimney are highlights of the exhibition. It is a 580-horsepower machine manufactured in Chemnitz, Germany. There is also a high-voltage electrical energy distribution center, the boiler area and a large exhibition of mineral cores. The engines were used to drain the mines of the town. The museum exhibition includes models, photographs, samples of minerals, plans, drawings, documents, and tools that were used by the miners. Both the era of mining with steam engines and the early electrification are the main topic of the exhibition.

This is the site of a mine, which was actually closed in 1865. It was reactivated 30 years later as the mine pumping facility of the city, which lowered the groundwater for the adjacent mines. The early steam engines in Hidalgo were manufactured in Cornwall, and the town has a close connection to Cornish mining. However, when in 1885 the Paschker und Kaestner company in Freiberg built a water column machine for the drainage of the Morán mine, the directors of the Compañía Real del Monte y Pachuca (CRDMyP) made a study. They visited the factory in Germany and finally decided to acquire a machine in Chemnitz for the La Dificultad mine. It was more expensive than an offer from Cornwall, the price was justified by the savings in fuel consumption. In May 1887 Oëtling Brothers of Hamburg, who represented CRDMyP, signed the contract. The machinery had a weight of 310 tons and cost 130,950 German marks. Between September 1888 and February 1890 personell from Germany arrived in Real del Monte. This included assemblers, carpenters, engineers, firefighters, bricklayers, framers and machinists. They erected the power house for the steam engine which was built at the same time in Chemnitz. The steam engine powered Rittinger pumps and a fixed 80-horsepower winch. The steam engine was installed and started operation in 1889.

The site is actually an abandoned mining site, and the 700 m deep mine below still exists. When it was abandoned and the pumps turned off, the lower 250 m of the mine flooded. As the region needs drinking water, there are plans to pump and purify the mine water for consumption. The drawbacks are obvious, the minerals and ores make the water slightly poisonous.

During the 19th century, this was one of the mines with the highest production of gold and silver in the State of Hidalgo. The profits went down, but nevertheless, this mine was operated until the early 21st century. When it was finally closed, the Museo de Minería de Pachuca took over and converted it into a show mine. It was opened to the public in 2011. They already have a show mine at the other side of town, which has an underground tour, so this mine concentrates on the power house and machinery.