The Tamra iron mine (Nefza mining district, N. Tunisia) has been exploited for about one century. There are, however, very few publications modelling the mineralisation within this 50 m-thick Messinian-Zanclean sedimentary series. We present the result of a detailed sedimentological, mineralogical and geochemical study on the siliciclastic sediments heavily mineralised in iron. In their present state of preservation, these are rather unusual sediments, wherein most of sedimentological information is obliterated by iron impregnation. The whole series consists of a succession of fining-upward sequences (a few meters in thickness) that are capped by clay-bearing variegated and mottled horizons, each sequence being interpreted as a shallowing-upward sequence topped by an emersive horizon corresponding to a paleosoil. We propose that alteration and/or pedogenesis by the downward percolation of meteoric fluids accounts for most of the initial iron concentration, while a hydrothermal overprint, linked to the neighbouring Miocene magmatic rocks and associated mineral deposits (Sidi Driss Fe-Pb-Zn mine), accounts for the existing extreme iron enrichment. The proposed model is likely to apply to several other iron mines linked to the Miocene magmatic activity in the whole Maghreb area, and especially along the Apenninic thrust front (locally known as Tell-Rif front).