Mina has a land area of 4,340 hectares (10,700 acres) which is dominantly used for agriculture. It is located 38 kilometres (24 mi) north of Iloilo City, passing through the national highway, and consists of 22 barangays, 2 of which are in the poblacion. It is sandwiched by the municipalities of Pototan and Janiuay.
Before 1870, what is today known as the Municipality of Mina was then Barrio Montogawe. It got its name from a Montogawe Hill located at the Suague River, that had the appearance of the face of a man. The word Montogawe was derived from the Spanish word “Monte” meaning, mountain, and “Gawe” a vernacular word meaning, face of a man. Old folks claimed that such hill was an enchanted one, because no matter how high the flood was, it never submerged. Thus, the place was significantly called Montogawe.
A Civil Decree issued by General La Torre in 1870 lawfully created the civil town of Montogawe, provided that the residents of the area of the newly founded town should build a church, a municipal building and a school house.
Montogawe was elevated to a parish in 1872, but no Parish Priest was assigned. The Spanish Government had forgotten or overlooked the conditions of the 1870 Civil Decree of General La Torre so, on July 30, 1873, it issued another decree declaring Montogawe a parish. A dispute on the jurisdiction over Tolarucan (presently, a barangay in this municipality) lodged by both municipalities of Pototan and Janiuay, brought about the change in the name of Barrio Montogawe. A certain Capitan Placido wanted jurisdiction over Tolarucan but Capitan Roa objected. He alleged that the survey of Montogawe included Tolarucan. The controversy lasted for several years and was elevated to the court in Manila for final judgment. Capitan Roa brought the case to the attention of the Bishop of Jaro, Iloilo, and impressed upon him the importance of the case to the church. He pointed out, that if he losses the case, it was not he who would lose, but, the church. The Bishop appointed ten (10) priests to handle the case. The priests retained the services of a Spanish lawyer named Mina. Atty. Mina won the case and Montogawe gained jurisdiction over Tolarucan. It can not be fully ascertained but some sources say that Atty. Mina refused to accept monetary remuneration. Because of his gallant act, the town was named in his honor, thus Montogawe became Mina.