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Almadén > World Heritage Site > Mining Park > Bustamante furnaces or Aludeles

Aludeles Furnaces or Bustamante

In 1633 Lope Saavedra Barba invented in the mine of Huancavelica (Peru) the ovens of (aludeles), which were introduced in Almadén in 1646   by Juan Alonso de Bustamante, reason why they are also called Bustamante furnaces.

Inside them the mineral was placed without being previously introduced in pots, but distributed in several layers according to sizes and qualities. Once the oven was loaded and closed they proceeded to burn fuel (first wood and then coal), thus producing mercury vapor, which passed through holes in a small chamber, from which several pipes of clay came out.

Each pipe was formed in turn by various containers attached to each other (the “aludeles”) with a hole in its bottom, so that mercury first condensed and then came out through the holes into a gully where it was collected.

Before a new ore firing, the aludeles were disassembled for its cleaning, recovering the rough mercury that remained on its walls. Moreover, certain mud called (soot particles) was also extracted, hipped for its further processing.

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