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Welkenraedt, Plombières-Vieille Montagne-Moresnet (Plombières-Altenberg-Moresnet) mining district, Verviers, Liège Province, Belgium

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 50° 39' 50'' North , 5° 57' 24'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 50.66389,5.95667
Köppen climate type:Cfb : Temperate oceanic climate
Name(s) in local language(s):

The zinc mines of Welkenraedt.

The Welkenraedt zinc mines were part of the Altenberg concession with head office in Kelmis.
They were part of the Belgian zinc group Vieille Montagne.

The mines in Welkenraedt were located on 2 fault lines from the NW to the SE.
The mines of Mütshagen and Dickenbusch worked the first fault line.
Wilcour, Nouvelle Espérence, St-Paul, La Bruyère and Heggelsbruck worked the second fault line.
Witter and Pandour lay on a small transverse breach in the SW direction.

The St-Paul mine was opened in 1849 and was the largest mine of this cluster and was also the most important on this second fault line. The other mines were more or less expansions. The St-Paul mine accounted for 150,000 tons of calamine, 25,000 tons of schalenblende and 9,000 tons of galena. St-Paul was active until 1884.
At La Bruyère, which was connected underground with St-Paul, work continued for a few years longer.
Pandour went into service when the other mines closed and was active from 1885 until 1902.
Around 1900, Mützhagen took over the ore production, together with the Lontzen mine.

Around the time that Mützhagen closed in 1935, all the other mines of Vieille Montagne also closed: Schmalgraf, Eschbroich, Lontzen, and Fossey. And with it ended the mine exploitation in the Altenberg concession. The economy was at a low point and the competition with the much larger foreign mines gave the death blow.

At the time the mining in Moresnet ended, the zinc production of Vieille-Montagne was almost completely moved to Balen, in the Campine. This factory was supplied by foreign mines via Antwerp and is still active.

Mineral List

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

17 valid minerals.

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

Late Cretaceous
66 - 100.5 Ma

ID: 2620892

Age: Late Cretaceous (66 - 100.5 Ma)

Comments: Sandstone: especially Elbe-Bohemia

Lithology: Lime- and marlstone, claystone, sandstone

Reference: Toloczyki, M., P. Trurnit, A. Voges, H. Wittekindt, A. Zitzmann. Geological Map of Germany 1:M. Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe. [94]

Late Devonian - Middle Devonian
358.9 - 393.3 Ma

ID: 3151103
Middle Devonian claystone

Age: Devonian (358.9 - 393.3 Ma)

Lithology: Major:{claystone}, Minor{limestone,sandstone,conglomerate}

Reference: Asch, K. The 1:5M International Geological Map of Europe and Adjacent Areas: Development and Implementation of a GIS-enabled Concept. Geologisches Jahrbuch, SA 3. [147]

358.9 - 419.2 Ma

ID: 3186341
Paleozoic sedimentary rocks

Age: Devonian (358.9 - 419.2 Ma)

Lithology: Sedimentary rocks

Reference: Chorlton, L.B. Generalized geology of the world: bedrock domains and major faults in GIS format: a small-scale world geology map with an extended geological attribute database. doi: 10.4095/223767. Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 5529. [154]

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.


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Braun, M. (1857) Über die Galmeilagerstätte des Altenberges im Zusammenhang mit den Erzlagerstätten des Altenberger Grubenfeldes un der Umgegend. Zeitschrift der Deutschen Geologischen Gesellschaft, 354-370.
Coppola, V., Boni, M., Gilg, H.A., Balassone, G., and Dejonghe, L. (2008) The “calamine” nonsulfide Zn–Pb deposits of Belgium: Petrographical, mineralogical and geochemical characterization. Ore Geology Reviews 33, 187-210.

External Links (possible explanation of the fluorescence of cerussite, in Dutch)

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