Mining activities in the region go back many centuries. The Romans introduced new techniques and intensified them. From extracted minerals, copper had a significant share, so did iron, wolfram and in a miner scale gold.
Nowadays, times have changed and mines are closed. Villages whose economy was based on this activity live a restructuring process, trying to profit from the so called Thematic Tourism. The best example of that is Minas de S.Domingos, in Mértola municipality. This village was until the mid 50`s an important mining centre, with a complex which had, beside the mines, a railway which connected to the harbour in Guadiana.