The first record of mining iron ore in the form of magnetite at Cogne dates to 1432. The biggest expansion of the mine was by a Belgian company in 1910 under the Swedish engineer Ranjar Nordensten. It was then nationalized by the Italian fascist government in 1927. In 1940, some 1,000 miners worked to extract 350,000 tons of ore annually. Extraction ended in 1968. The mines opened to the public in 2017 and are run by a cooperative.
Located at an altitude of over 2,000m, the mine is one of Europe’s highest. Guided tours allow visitors to travel 1.5 km into the heart of the mountain on a train of the 1950s. After arriving at the main shaft, visitors continue on foot through the tunnels and workings. Much of the original machinery and many tools are on display. The guided tour begins at Costa del Pino, which can be reached on hiking trails with spectacular views of mining and transport remains and the Aosta Valley.