Literature has records of the use of obsidian that shows the existence of a knowledge base on raw material resources around Lake Van extending to very ancient times. Against this background, very little information can be obtained from literature about accurate location of historical mining activities in the region today. An ancient mining and processing complex, located northwest of the city of Van (Turkey) has been discovered by chance in 2007. The purpose of this article is to describe this historical mining area. The site contains mining structures such as shafts and galleries, and heaves of stone chips indicating some ore enrichment activities taking place there. The XRD and chemical analyses show the samples taken from the ore vein are rich in Manganese (Mn) and Barium (Ba), and it is concluded that the Zilan Valley Mining and Processing Complex was for Pyrolusite (MnO2), Barium or both. The site is being described for the first time in the literature and offers an opportunity to fulfill the gap in literature regarding mining history. The discovery and the description of the site would also have implications in a wide multidisciplinary scientific community, including metallurgy, archeology, and world heritage.