Learning

School visits and workshop

Fuel learning across the curriculum with a visit to the Mining Park and its Museum and give your pupils a unique experience they will never forget.

Our historic building, collections, inspiring workshops and the chance to visit a real open cast mine provide an immersive learning environment where pupils can:

  • investigate local history, geology and biology
  • find out about iron mining through time
  • solve a scientific problem and see science in action
  • handle objects
  • be creative and curious
  • enjoy the great outdoors

All of our workshops have been developed by our qualified team and they are suitable for all the educational stages.

Our team will be happy to help you plan your visit; you can get in touch by email info@parcominelba.it or telephone +39 0565 962088.

Family workshop

A special workshop for parents and their children to discover together the world of mining and minerals.

It takes place every Thursday, in July and August.

Reservation required: +39 0565 962088.

Tickets: Child € 10,00, Adult € 7,00

Minerals

HEMATITE the blood stone

Hematite, also spelled haematite, is one of the most abundant minerals on Earth’s surface and in the shallow crust. Heavy and relatively hard oxide mineral, ferric oxide (Fe2O3), that constitutes the most important iron ore because of its high iron content (70 percent) and its abundance. Its name is derived from the Greek word for “blood,” in allusion to its red colour.

Hematite has an extremely variable appearance. Its lustre can range from earthy to submetallic to metallic. Its colour ranges include red to brown and black to gray to silver. It occurs in many forms that include micaceous, massive, crystalline, botryoidal, fibrous, oolitic, and others.

Even though hematite has a highly variable appearance, it always produces a reddish streak. This reddish streak is the most important clue for identifying hematite.

Hematite has a wide variety of other uses. The mineral is used to produce pigments, preparations for heavy media separation, radiation shielding, ballast, and many other products.

 

PYRITE, the fool’s gold

Pyrite is a brass-yellow mineral with a bright metallic lustre. It has a chemical composition of iron sulfide (FeS2) and is the most common sulfide mineral. It forms at high and low temperatures and occurs, usually in small quantities, in igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks worldwide.

The name “pyrite” is after the Greek “pyr” meaning “fire.” This name was given because pyrite can be used to create the sparks needed for starting a fire if it is struck against metal or another hard material. Pieces of pyrite have also been used as a spark-producing material in flintlock firearms.

The mineral’s gold colour, metallic lustre, and high specific gravity often cause it to be mistaken for gold by inexperienced prospectors. That is why it is also called the “fool’s gold”.

 

 

LIMONITE, the stone of painters

Limonite is one of the major iron minerals, hydrated ferric oxide (FeO(OH)·nH2O). It was originally considered one of a series of such oxides; later it was thought to be the amorphous equivalent of goethite and lepidocrocite, but X-ray studies have shown that most so-called limonite is actually goethite.

The name limonite properly should be restricted to impure hydrated iron oxide (with variable water content) that is colloidal, or amorphous, in character. Often brown and earthy, it is formed by alteration of other iron minerals, such as the hydration of hematite or the oxidation and hydration of siderite or pyrite. It probably bears the same relationship to iron oxides that wad and gummite do to manganese and uranium oxides.

Limonite has been used by people since prehistoric times. Their first use of limonite was probably as a pigment. It is found in many Neolithic pictographs, and throughout history it has been one of the most important pigments for creating paints in the yellow to brown colour range known as ochre. Its use as a pigment continues today. It can sometimes be used directly from the deposit with minimal processing, but it is often heat treated to drive off water, simplify the production of a powder, and improve colour.

 

Quartz

Quartz is a chemical compound consisting of one part silicon and two parts oxygen. It is silicon dioxide (SiO2). It is the most abundant mineral found at Earth’s surface, and its unique properties make it one of the most useful natural substances.

It is the most abundant and widely distributed mineral found at Earth’s surface. It forms at all temperatures; it is abundant in igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks and this durability makes it the dominant mineral of mountaintops and the primary constituent of beach, river, and desert sand.

Quartz is one of the most useful natural materials thanks to its physical and chemical properties: it is very durable, chemically inert in contact with most substances and it has electrical properties and heat resistance that make it valuable in electronic products. Its lustre, colour and diaphaneity make it useful as a gemstone and also in the making of glass.

 

Sources: Encyclopaedia Britannica and geology.com

Parco Minerario