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Panasqueira Mines, Covilhã, Castelo Branco District, Portugal

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Entry of the 'mine-city' with the large dump in the background

Panasqueira Mines, Covilhã, Castelo Branco District, Portugal
Plant and dumps view / Vista geral e das escombreiras

Panasqueira Mines, Covilhã, Castelo Branco District, Portugal
Entry of the 'mine-city' with the large dump in the background

Panasqueira Mines, Covilhã, Castelo Branco District, Portugal
Plant and dumps view / Vista geral e das escombreiras

Panasqueira Mines, Covilhã, Castelo Branco District, Portugal
Entry of the 'mine-city' with the large dump in the background

Panasqueira Mines, Covilhã, Castelo Branco District, Portugal
Plant and dumps view / Vista geral e das escombreiras

Panasqueira Mines, Covilhã, Castelo Branco District, Portugal
Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 40° 9' 14'' North , 7° 44' 52'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 40.15395,-7.74786
Other regions containing this locality:Iberian Peninsula
Köppen climate type:Csb : Warm-summer Mediterranean climate
Name(s) in local language(s):Couto Mineiro da Panasqueira, Covilhã, Distrito de Castelo Branco, Portugal

Mine Information: A large tin-tungsten mine made up of multiple concessions that started production in 1898. Mining is in gently dipping stacked quartz veins that lead into mineralized wolfram-bearing schist. The mineralized zone has dimensions of approximately 2,500 m in length, varying in width from 400 m to 2,200 m, and continues to at least 500 m in depth.

Originally the longwall method or a variant with partial filling was used, but in 1986 it was changed to room-and-pillar based on an analysis of geological and geomechanical characteristics of the rock mass.

Access to the mine's main levels is by a 2.5 m x 2.8 m decline from the surface at a 14% grade. The main levels consist of a series of parallel drives that are spaced 100 m apart and which provide access to the ore passes for rail transport, and connect with ramps for movement of drilling and loading equipment.

Blocks of ore are laid out initially in 100 m x 80 m sections by driving 5 m wide tunnels, 2.2 m high. Similar crosscuts are then set off at right angles to create roughly 11 m by 11m pillars, which are ultimately trimmed to 3 m by 3 m, providing an extraction rate of 84%. Blasted ore is loaded from the stopes by a fleet of LHDs (rubber tired low profile loaders), tipping into 1.8 m-diameter bored raises connecting to the main level boxes. Rail haulage with trolley locomotives is used to transport the ore to the shaft on Level 3, and to the 900 t-capacity main ore pass on Level 2 that provides storage for the 190 metric ton/hour jaw crusher located at the 530 m-level.

Geology: Panasqueira granite intrudes Precambrian marine shales, greywackes, and sandstones. Shales are converted into biotite cordierite andalusite hornfelses near the granite contact. Irregular barren quartz masses were formed in shales (quartz segregation lenses) during Hercynian (the geologic mountain-building event caused by the Late Paleozoic continental collision between Euramerica and Gondwana to form the supercontinent of Pangaea) regional metamorphism. Panasqueira muscovite-albite leucogranite batholith evolves upwards into a quartz-greisen cupola overlain by a quartz cap, from which related quartz veins (stockscheider) penetrate into the shales. Later subhorizontal mineralized veins follow these quartz veins.

Four stages of mineralization are known:
1) Oxide-silicate stage (280-320°C): ferberite, cassiterite in quartz veins, arsenopyrite, topaz, muscovite and tourmaline
2) Sulfide stage: arsenopyrite, pyrite, pyrrhotite, chalcopyrite, sphalerite, stannite, etc.
3) Pyrrhotite alteration stage
4) Carbonate stage: calcite and dolomite, minor sulfides

The mine has existed since 1896. There is an estimated 12,000 km of tunnels, some still working and others already abandoned. At the time of World War II, about 10,000 people worked in the mine; today (2017), approximately 370. The mine has a planned production for more than 30 years.

Mineral List

Mineral list contains entries from the region specified including sub-localities

75 valid minerals. 2 (TL) - type locality of valid minerals. 2 erroneous literature entries.

Regional Geology

This geological map and associated information on rock units at or nearby to the coordinates given for this locality is based on relatively small scale geological maps provided by various national Geological Surveys. This does not necessarily represent the complete geology at this locality but it gives a background for the region in which it is found.

Click on geological units on the map for more information. Click here to view full-screen map on

541 - 1000 Ma

ID: 1383637
Neoproterozoic sedimentary rocks

Age: Neoproterozoic (541 - 1000 Ma)

Lithology: Sedimentary rocks

Reference: Geological Survey of Canada. Generalized geological map of the world and linked databases. doi:10.4095/195142. Open File 2915d. [18]

Data and map coding provided by, used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License

Localities in this Region

This page contains all mineral locality references listed on This does not claim to be a complete list. If you know of more minerals from this site, please register so you can add to our database. This locality information is for reference purposes only. You should never attempt to visit any sites listed in without first ensuring that you have the permission of the land and/or mineral rights holders for access and that you are aware of all safety precautions necessary.


Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Clark, A.H. (1965) Notes on the mineralogy of Panasqueira tin-tungsten deposit, Portugal. Comunicacaoes dos Servicos Geologicos de Portugal 48, 201-12.
Gaines, R.W. and Thadeu, D. (1971) The minerals of Panasqueira, Portugal. Mineralogical Record, 2(2), 73-78.
dos Reis, A.C. (1971) As Minas da Panasqueira. Beralt Tin & Wolfram, Ltd., Lisboa.
Dunn, P.J. (1977) Apatite. A guide to species nomenclature. Mineralogical Record 8 (2): 78-82 [with analysis of green and violet apatite-(CaF) from Panasqueira].
Thadeu, D. (1979) Le gisement stanno-wolframifère de Panasqueira (Portugal). Chronique de la Recherche Minière 450, 35-42.
Kelly, W.C. and Rye, R.O. (1979) Geologic, fluid inclusion, and stable isotope studies of the tin-tungsten deposits of Panasqueira, Portugal. Economic Geology 74, 1721-1822.
Bull. Minéral., (1984) 107, 703-713.
Bussink, R.W. (1984) Geochemistry of the Panasqueira tungsten-tin deposit, Portugal. Geologica Ultraiectina, 33, 1-170.
Wimmers, D. (1985) Silver Minerals of Panasqueira, Portugal: A New Occurrence of Te-Bearing Canfieldite. Mineralogical Magazine 49:745-748.
Bull. Minéral. (1988) 111, 251-256.
Costa, L.R. and Goinhas, J.A.C. (1988) Alguns aspectos da indústria extractiva de cobre em Portugal. Boletim de Minas, Lisboa 25 (2) Abr/Jun 1988, p. 167-175.
Foxford, K.A., Nicholson, R., and Polya, D.A. (1991) Textural evolution of W-Cu-Sn bearing hydrothermal veins at Minas da Panasqueira, Portugal. Mineralogical Magazine, 55, 435-445.
Azevedo Da Silva, R.P. and Calvo, M. (1997) Minéralogie (Panasqueira). Bocamina, 12-27.
Werner, A.B.T., Sinclair, W.D., and Amey, E.B. (1998) International Strategic Mineral Issues Summary Report - Tungsten. US Geological Survey Circular 930-O.
De Ascencao Guedes, R. (2002) Le coteau minier de Panasqueira, Beira Baixa (Portugal). Le Règne Minéral(43), 6-32.
USGS (2005) Mineral Resources Data System (MRDS): U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia, loc. file ID #10055806 & 10304117.
Keeping a low profile at Panasqueira, Mining Methods in Underground Mining (2007) Atlas Copco, 135-140.
Carlos Curto Milà and Jordi Fabre (2014) The Mineralogical Record, 45 (1), 11-55.
Weiß, S., Fabre, J., and Mila, C.C. (2014) Panasqueira, Portugal: Wolframit, Zinnstein und prächtige Apatite. Lapis, 39 (7/8), 16-29 (in German).
Weiß, S. and Fabre, J. (2014) Panasqueira: Mineralien für Kenner - von A bis Z. Lapis, 39 (7/8), 30-53.
Mila, C.C., Salvan, C.M., and Fabre, J. (2014) Panasqueira: Neufunde und Neubestimmungen. Lapis, 39 (7/8), 54-63 [mineral list on p. 63].
Alves, P. (2016) Svanbergita y florencita-(Ce) de la mina Panasqueira (Covilhã, Castelo Branco, Portugal). Acopios, 7: 1-8.

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