At the end of the 19th century, in the surroundings of Cabo de Palos, favored by its lake environment, an incipient salt industry was established in those known as Salinas de Marchamalo.
The system of exploitation was based on taking advantage of the natural insolation that caused the evaporation of the water in the ponds or lagoons, leaving the salt residue and thus obtaining the white gold: salt.
During the boom years of this industry, a series of buildings and facilities necessary in the production process were built, such as the one dedicated to offices in the modernist style, the work of the architect Lorenzo Ros. Also notable for its uniqueness is a windmill, with the typical Latin sails characteristic of Campo de Cartagena, which is also the only one whose function was to grind salt that is preserved in the Region of Murcia, and one of the few existing in Spain. . Later to its operation an electric motor was adapted.
The low productivity of the salt flats, together with the surrounding real estate speculation, led the management company to close them, leaving their facilities abandoned. Part of the salt ponds still receive contributions of water pumped by the Autonomous Community, which allows this permanent sheet of water to host a large contingent of brightly colored waterfowl such as flamingos, common coots or common coots. breeding and wintering, as well as a very interesting population of fartet (Aphanius iberus), a small fish, endemic to the southeast and in danger of extinction.
The Salinas de Marchamalo are under the protection figures of:
Protected Natural Area
LIC (Place of Community Importance)
ZEPA (Special Protection Area for Birds)
ZEPIM (Specially Protected Area of ¿¿Interest for the Mediterranean)
Ramsar Wetland of International Importance.