In 1774 on the slopes of Mont Meta rock material rich in iron oxide was found and in 1852 King Ferdinand II of Bourbon began exploratory mining. A large amount of limonite (hydrated iron oxide) and bauxite were found and a mining operation was started.
Men and women brought the material to the square in baskets carried by various quadrupeds, and were paid then and there. Then the material was transported to the “foundry” of Atina where it was processed. The raw materials were extracted until 1860, but with the unification of Italy the business was shut down.