The mines around Barroca Grande , Silvares and Panasqueira, 35 km west of Fundao, are the most productive source of tungsten in Europe. Prospecting in the area began in 1886, the mineral wolframite, the source of tungsten, was identified in 1888, a mining company was founded in 1896, and production has been more or less continuous since that time. The ore body is unique, with five horizons of mineralisation, and specimens from the Panasqueira mine are displayed in geological museums throughout the world.
The landscape is dominated by large-scale modern plant, but conservation work on older dressing sites is in progress, aided in 2007 by an international work camp, and a youth hostel has been established in some miners’ homes at Cabeco de Piao, 2.5 km from Silvares. Homes in the early 20th century village of Panasqueira are arranged in geometrical patterns on the mountain side. There are displays relating to the industry in the archaeological museum at Fundao.