Ala Verde (Armenia)
Three hundred years of hell
Inaugurated in 1775 by a consortium that saw France, Greece and Armenia side by side, the foundry, which was built at the foot of the mountains, still produces the precious metal at a fast pace, melting about 70,000 tons every year.
The product, accumulated in high piles inside department stores, comes from various Armenian mines, and is presented as a dark-colored granulate, with a high copper content obtained by flotation.
The copper concentrate is placed in the first blast furnace, where the percentage of iron is separated from that of copper. Then it is put back into the oven, at a very high temperature, and here a part of quartz is added, which allows for further purification.
When the copper ore is deemed sufficiently pure, it is poured into huge crucibles from which it is poured into molds. Once cooled, the copper is presented in heavy ingots, ready to be sent to buyers.
The copper produced at the Ala Verde foundry is of excellent quality and 90% is exported, and nearly 85% of the town’s working-age inhabitants are employed in the mine or work in some way in activities related to this production.