The contemporary times

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The resurgence of Mazarrón Port in contemporary times

Mining and the parallel industries became once again the engine of Mazarrón’s contemporary industrial reactivation, to which contributed, among others, major European companies. Following the marked highs and lows of mining and the final decline, tourism and modern irrigation agriculture have served as recent drivers of growth in the area.

During the 19th and 20th centuries, Mazarrón Port was reactivated industrially due to the return to the exploitation of the old Mazarrón mines, which made the creation of a foundry necessary to process the material extracted. The first lead foundry, created around 1850 in Mazarrón Port, also smelted small amounts of minerals from the Lorca and Totana areas.

From 1880 onwards, it will reach an age of splendour, with investment from major European firms, and the imminent development of the First World War, which increased demand of metal manufacture for making arms. In connection to this economic boom, a railway going to the Port foundry was built.

From that time there was a slow decline since main seams were nearly exhausted, and therefore the Port foundry was also involved in the production drop, until after the Civil War (1936-1939) it was exploited by the company Peñarroya. Subsequently, between the years 1951 and 1962, certain companies reopened the Mazarrón exploitations, but mainly with activities of debris cleaning by panning.

Post-war the exploitation and treatment of esparto grass was revitalized, with factories such as

La Reya, close to Bahía. The Mazarrón area had a traditional specialization in the production of esparto grass items related with sailing and fisheries.

Fishing itself, tourism and modern irrigation agriculture represent the bases of Mazarrón Port’s economic re-launch from the 1970s onwards.