Abandonment Issues: Producing Industrial Heritage Landscapes at the São Domingos Mine


  • Jonathan Peyton University of Manitoba, Canada


From 1867–1966, miners at the São Domingos Mine in Beja Province, Portugal, extracted copper ore from an open pit and produced sulfur at an adjacent roasting complex. Like many post-industrial landscapes, the mine was never remediated after closure—the working enterprise is survived only by industrial ruins, a pit filled with acidic water, and a desiccated landscape where almost nothing can grow. Yet out of these ruins, a new economy has been built on the social, geological, and environmental heritage of the landscapes left behind. Environmental historians should consider the historiographical possibilities that emerge out of the claims to environmental, economic, and social “potential” produced in the creation of an industrial heritage tourism economy amidst the post-industrial landscape of the São Domingos Mine.

Author Biography

Jonathan Peyton, University of Manitoba, Canada

Jonathan Peyton is an environmental historical geographer at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada. His work focuses on the social, economic and ecological effects of infrastructure and extractive megaprojects in western and subarctic North America. He is the author of Unbuilt Environments: Tracing Postwar Development in Northwestern British Columbia (UBC Press 2017) and has forthcoming papers in cultural geographies, Papers in Canadian Environmental History, and GeoHumanities.