Before we talk about the minerals, lets talk about the place.
To visit, you need just two things.
First, you need a damn good GPS navigation system in your car – or you might not arrive. These villages are tiny, and they are remote, and the people who live here do their best to keep visitors away.
And second, you need a damn good measure of courage, because the rural French don’t take too kindly to foreigners – so you might not depart. I am not kidding when I say going here unaccompanied is something the French Gendarmerie do not recommend.
Even with Google maps it’s hard to find these places until you turn the magnification up to the highest levels:
And what of these places? These were the places where, even long, long before the Middle Ages, the tough, fearless Romans risked their health and their lives to mine silver and precious metals from mines deep underground. And today the tough, fearless inhabitants of these villages are the descendants of those Romans – brutal, not afraid of pain, not afraid of hard work, and not suffering either fools or visitors lightly.