Lignite mine at Chomatero

Southwest of the village Chomatero, in Messenia, researchers have discovered accidentally in the early 20th century, during the construction of a well, lignite. The lignite mine Chomatero started operating in 1916. The workers were making charcoal and carried it on horses and donkeys. The workers along with their animals were heading to Kantianika, from where the French company Jean and Rose that was established in Kalamata, was taking the charcoal produced.

The mining of lignite was done in two ways: according to the first, workers had to cut the charcoal with the necessary tools such as peephole. The second way was done with the blasts. At first, the workers were carrying the charcoal with wagons that were pulled by horses. Later, they built the lignite mine of Chomatero that included a small powerhouse and then the wagons that were initially used, became electric.

The lignite mine of Chomatero had more than 200 workers, while the company had built houses suitable for them. It was the first time in Koroni that people were working eight-hours a day, given the fact that the project was operating 24 hours a day and that it was separated in three shifts. The lignite mine Chomatero closed in 1935.

In 1940-41, the Italian invaders who needed fuel to move the trains, reopened the lignite mine at Choatero, with more than 370 workers. This effort lasted until the end of the war, with terrible conditions for the workers.

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