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The Prades coalfield and its mines form a kind of parallelogram, two kilometers wide, lying about ten kilometers from north-east to south-west, around the communes of Lalevade d’Ardèche and Prades.

It seems that we must go back to the fourteenth century to find mention of ‘charcoal’ as opposed to charcoal; but it is from the end of the eighteenth century only that coal will actually begin to be exploited and used. This basin gave rise to two competing concessions: to the east that of Prades and Nieigles (also known as Champgontier mines), dating back to 1774 and to the west, that of Jaujac, attributed in 1865. After various periods of exploitation The mine was flooded during a flood in Salyndre on August 6, 1963. This flood put an end to coal mining, and the concession was closed in 1965.
The most important remnant of this history is the Champgontier tile, typical of the nineteenth century and whose appearance has not really changed since 1900. The tile is dominated by the superb masonry frame of the well Armand, dating from 1900 and used until 1920. Around, most of the buildings of the mine are still visible (building of the mining machine, forge, carpentry, offices …).

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The Prades coalfield and its mines
The Prades coalfield and its mines
The Prades coalfield and its mines

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