Quarry in Sondalo (SO)

The mine was cultivated underground, using drilling machines. (Photo: M.Mormile)

Today the mine extracts quartzite from underground. The activity allows the coexistence between mining underground and the simultaneous execution of environmental recovery in an open area, subject to previous mining.
The area of recovery is somewhat inaccessible due to the morphology of the site. It is also difficult to access because of the lack of roads: to carry out the work, we in fact used a spider excavator: a very mobile machine that allows work on rough terrain.
Making it even more difficult for the introduced plants to take root is the Alpine climate, which shortens the growing season and limits the species that can be used, which must be adapted to the difficult seasonal conditions.To allow an efficient slope stability and a good rooting of the grass, we laid a jute geonet, with great difficulty. The necessary operation was successful: the vegetation sown grew evenly and is playing out its important defense against erosion.
The nature around the mine is beautiful, with mixed woods of conifers where typically Alpine species live and have integrated very well with the reconstructed environments.


Technical data sheet

Technical data sheet of the mine in Sondalo (Sondrio)



View of the side to be restored (2009).    A fine specimen of a squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) grasping a walnut.

Fitting the slope before sowing (2010).    A Linnet (Carduelis cannabina) drinking.

The jute geonet serves to hold down the soil and seeds to prevent rain from dragging them down into the valley.    Use of wire mesh to protect the slope against erosion. Subsequently,  grass will planted.

The persistent snow cover shortens the growing season, making restoration more difficult.    The vegetation growing through the geonet is very sturdy: the net pattern will gradually disappear.

A young Black redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros).    The European Common Frog (Rana temporaria) lives at this altitude.

The aspen (Populus tremula) is used to strengthen the steep slopes outside the mine.    The Red Elderberry (Sambucus racemosa) is used to strengthen the mountainous terrain and feed the animals.

This beautiful Apatura ilia is part of the restoration of the mine.

The Fire Salamander (Salamandra salamandra) often burrows within the galleries of the mine to find coolness and humidity.    The viburnum (Viburnum opulus), or Guelder Rose, is used in restoration due to its berries that are eaten by birds.



Visualizza GMM Sondalo in una mappa di dimensioni maggiori