Laveria di Riso


‘Laveria di Riso’ is an industrial flotation plant that belongs to a lead and zinc mine in Gorno, Italy. The site was abandoned in 1982 and is a ruin today.

The Riso washery or flotation plant is one of the few remaining testimonies of the old lead and zinc mining activity in the Bergamo Alps. Here, the stones taken from the mines, were crushed and grinded and the useful metals were extracted by a flotation process using both water and acids. At its inauguration in 1914, the plant had a capacity of 120 tons a day. Later in 1927 the plant was enlarged and production was increased.

Work was hard. For example a day had 12 working hours. Also the workers had only one break of one hour, woman and children under 15 got a half hour extra. Later the flotation plant got safer for workers and also the production became cleaner for the environment. A cableway was installed to ensure better connection with the upper mining sites.

Meanwhile in 1942 the mine and the other related industries became state property. In 1982 both the mine and this flotation plant were closed down. At the present time the site is protected, but in a very bad state. I took these photos of ‘La Laveria di Riso’ in 2010 during my Italian road trip. Follow this link for more abandoned locations in Italy.

Built 1914
Abandoned 1982
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