Xanti Mortu

18 more in collection Sardinia : The Last Coal Mine in Italy

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Andrea, 41, the supervisor of the subsoil, stands with some of his colleagues in the lift used to go down the mine. It takes ten minutes to get out of the mine, which is 450 meters below the sea level.

Andrea has two children. His wife owns a small shop art shop in a small town near by the mine but she will not make enough money to support a family of four when the mine closes down.

“We are dead already” this is the meaning for the workers of the last remaining coal mine in Sardinia, Italy, to point at the inevitabile fate of their industry. They are part of the process which, over a few decades, has seen the decay of the role of the coal mining industry in Europe. Areas which for decades had been relign on this industry are left to reinvent their economies, having to deal with a heavily polluted environment and a highly specialized work force for a profession which belongs to the past.