Archaeological works recover an old factory where explosives were produced during the Civil War

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Imatge antiga de la fÓbrica.
Imatge antiga de la fÓbrica.

Until 6 July, the UB students of Archaeology will excavate and study the remains of a factory in Flix (Tarragona) which, during the twenties and thirties, was the only place of Spain to produce chloratite, an explosive used in mining and construction works and which was also used as an arm during the Civil War. In fact, the factory was bombed by Francoist troops because it was a place of production of explosives and poisonous gases.

During the archaeological works, two anti-aircraft shelters which were built precisely during the war will be excavated, and the several buildings that remain in the former factory will be studied. The aim is to establish bases for the research, the conservation and the dissemination of these places, as well as its heritage element.

The factory started working in 1923, after the signature of a collaboration agreement with a German factory which enabled the Flix facilities to have the manufacturing, selling and distribution rights in Spain and Portugal of an explosive called Miedzienkite: a mix of potassium chlorate, ammonium chlorate and nitrate which was commercialized in the Iberian Peninsula under the name of chloratite and which enabled the destruction of hard elements. In 1936, the factory was occupied by the CNT and FAI unions. Later, the War Industries Commission of the Catalan Government commissioned this equipment to manufacture ammonium nitrate and chlorotite. Flix was the firt town to suffer the effects of the shellings in Catalonia during the Civil War. The factory became a military target due to the importance of its production. The continuous shelling led to a lack of necessary material to produce chloratite and therefore it all led to the definite closure of the place.

The archaeological works of the UB include the participation of the Town Council of Flix and La Cana Cultural Association.