Garimpo no Ribeirão do Carmo        Extracting gold

Origin the Minas Passage

Not it is possible to trace the course of world history without gold speak of the "Gold Cycle" Brazilian. This period, very well defined in Brazilian history, coincides with the eighteenth century, since it began in 1695, with the first export economically meaningful and ended around 1800, when gold started occupy a secondary position in the national economy. During this period, the world gold production was 1,421 metric tons, and the captaincy of Minas Gerais, Ouro Preto and Mariana practically, contributed to 700 tons or 50% of the gold produced in period.

Liteira        Old Carriage

The internalization of Brazil began with the search for wealth, especially gold, emeralds and diamonds, that men of the time thought there that so beautiful and promising land. Organized into groups called Scouts, they gave themselves body and soul searching metals and precious stones, is engrossed by the hinterlands. Towards the end XVII century, around 1695, one of this flags, commanded by Manuel Garcia Velho, located in Tripuí, eight leagues of Gold Black granite a series of colored steel, which later, when examined, found that it was very fine gold. The news has spread every part of the colony and from 1697 it established a "rush" that swelled in subsequent years.

Garimpo no ribeirão          Panning in the stream

Museu da Mina          Mine´s Museum

In 1780, John Lopes de Lima expressed the deposits of gravel N. S. Bom Sucesso and, in 1702, John Siqueira gave the knowledge Mariana sink. During this period the two groups settled miners who would be the towns of Vila Mariana and Rica of Our Lady of Pilar de Ouro Preto. Despite the short distance that separated them, if ignored for long. But the murky waters the Ribeirao do Carmo showed for the inhabitants of Mariana, which upstream, there was another city. Eager to maintain contact with civilized elements, rose the Ribeirao do Carmo. in 1719 founded the village of Passage, which lies between the two cities. During this time, the miners who went upriver the batting alluvial deposits, discovered gold primary Passage.

Lago no interior da mina          Lake inside the mine

With discovery and plenty of gold, in the period 1729 to 1756 flowed area for a large number of elements that are exploring the deposits concentrated in Morro de Santo Antonio. papers were carried out in the open and / or services through small underground that usually stopped when the water was reached table. Plowed up, recovered and was then only the gold contained in itabirites in jacutinga and auriferous iron yoke. The hand labor was totally slave and it is believed that at one time, about 35,000 slaves populated the slave quarters of Morro Santo Antônio.

Ouro         Gold

Date eighth century the discovery of gold in Passage. the Scout traveled shafts d `agua Rio Doce basin, reached the Ribeirão do Carmo, which pinpointed abundant alluvial gold. climbing Ribeirão in typical prospecting for panning, discovered in 1719 the primary deposits of Passage. From 1729 to 1756, several miners obtain concessions for the exploitation of mineral deposits. Over the years, reduced to a single owner. After his death his heirs transferred to Mina, the March 12, 1819, the baron W. L. von Eschwege.

Draga no Ribeirão do Carmo                                                       Dragging in the Carmo´s Stream

The work hitherto concentrated on Morro Santo Antônio and were performed by hand labor servile open or through small underground services .. Recuperating Gold contained in Itabiritos in jacutinga and yoke iron-auriferous. According to tradition, peopled zensalas the Morro Santo Antônio, 35,000 slaves. The ruins still existing witness this remote passado.Eschewege formed the first mining company in Brazil, under the name of Mineralogical Society Pass. Built the mill, with ten Californians and pestles established forefront of underground mining. only after the year 1800 is that gold was discovered in the quartzite, schist in graphitic and the Dolomites, a new direction exploitation of the deposits.

After years of prosperity, Baron Eschewege attracted to new activities in the steel industry pioneer, lost interest in mining gold. The Mineralogical Society passed, the 1 June 1659, at the hands of the English mining Thomas Bawden. This, after working four years, resold it, the November 26, 1863, to Thomas Treolar, representative of the new company formation, "Anglo Brazilian Gold Mining Company Limited ", which advocated the Socidade Mineralogical Pass. The "Anglo Brazilian" conceptions acquired several neighboring Seawall and Mata as horses and worked in the mines, 1864 to 1873 producing 753,501 ounces of gold at an average grade of 6.89 grams per ton of ore.

Draga               Drag

Of 1874 to 1883, the mine was paralyzed. On March 14, 1883 was sold to a French union, which was the "The Gold Gold Mines of Brazil Limited "The new company operated with great success until March 1927, when it was sold to the group Ferreira Guimarães, bankers Minas Gerais and transformed in May same year, the current Company Minas Passage. The Mining Company Passage operated regularly until 1954. From then until 1960 was paralyzed. Attempts to reopen, 1959-1966, were unsuccessful. The general inflation, lack of capital and spirit miner mainly the unrealistic price of gold fixed at $ 35 an ounce, and finally the obligation of all production is sold to Bank of Brazil, made ??the mining uneconomic.

Of 1967 to 19 December 1973, the Company Group Anglo Brazilian Constructions acquired control of the Company Mines Passage, without success in attempts, so disordered, of developing the project. In October 1976, the then equity majority, acknowledging the failure of their attempts, returned controlling interest to Dr. Walter Rodrigues.