About Calamine / Kelmis


After the fall of Napoleon, Prussia and the Netherlands could not agree on the distribution of the profits of the mine, this area has been an independent state for more than 100 years “Neutral-Moresnet” (1816-1918).
The director of the Vieille Montagne mine was also head of state. So it was an independent region even after the independence of Belgium in 1830. The zinc mine produced zinc ore called “Galmei” or “Calamine”. The produced ore was roasted in local shaft furnaces and then the zinc ore was converted into zinc metal by reduction with coal.