Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins – Noord, Aruba - Atlas Obscura
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Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins

Noord, Aruba

The remnants of an abandoned, 19th-century gold mill along Aruba's rugged northeastern coast. 

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On Aruba’s rugged, desertlike northeastern coast sits a remnant of the island’s once-bustling gold mining industry— the Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins.

Constructed in 1872 by the London-based Aruba Island Gold Mining Company, the stamp mill harnessed the power of strong ocean winds to crush stone and isolate gold ore. A smelter on site processed the ore into fine gold, which was driven to a nearby harbor for export.

The mill operated for a decade, refining more than 2,000 ounces of gold before production halted in 1883 (likely due to the high cost of operation). It was reopened in 1889 by another British company, the Aruba Agency Company. This operation also lasted for a decade and the Bushiribana mill was permanently closed in 1899 as attention shifted to a newer, state-of-the-art mill at Balashi, in Aruba’s interior.

After more than a century of vacancy, only the natural stone walls of the Bushiribana Gold Mill remain. Visitors to the ruins can walk freely throughout the abandoned structure and can carefully climb the remnants of a staircase on the mill’s southern wall to enjoy sweeping views of the Caribbean.

The Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins are a frequent stop on numerous ATV and off-road vehicle tours of Aruba’s northeastern coast.

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  • Ross, Helen. "The Ruins at Bushiribana, Aruba Circa 1872: A Preliminary Investigation into Aruba's Gold Mining History." October 1999. Accessed June 2021, George A. Smathers Libraries. University of Florida Digital Collections: https://ufdc.ufl.edu/AA00012428/00005.
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