Mining in Moncorvo resumes after 12 years

in News · 20-03-2020 01:00:00 · 0 Comments

Aethel Mining, which owns the mining concession in Torre de Moncorvo, announced the restart of iron ore exploration in the municipality, lamenting the 12-year stalemate that dictated significant postponements of the project.

“These processes should be faster. Twelve years is a long time to obtain all approvals for an undertaking of this nature, which created some anxiety among the population of the municipality,” Aethel Mining’s chairman, Ricardo Santos Silva, told Lusa.
According to the businessman, the prospecting that is now starting will have several phases over the next five years, with an investment of €550 million, over the next 60 years.
“In the first five years of mining, the investment will be around €50 million, predicting that over the next 60 years of the concession, around €550 million will be invested”, said Ricardo Santos Silva.
Aethel Mining said that the beginning of the works is located at the Cascalheira da Mua site, in the Union of Parishes of Felgar and Souto da Velha, in that municipality in the district of Bragança.
“At this location, open-air extraction, without the use of explosives, of about six million tons of iron inert is planned, in a first phase, for the production of high-density raw materials”, explained the businessman.
According to Ricardo Santos Silva, in this first phase, 60 direct jobs are expected to be created, some skilled labour, such as engineers or geologists.
The businessman is convinced that with this venture he can place “the Trasmontano municipality of Torre de Moncorvo at the centre of mining activity”.
“We are talking about a very relevant iron ore deposit, with great market demand. It is a sure bet, since we need iron for everything,” said Ricardo Santos Silva.
According to Aethel Mining, the licensing process for the reactivation project for the Moncorvo iron mines has become a decisive step in the long mining path of this project, taking place in parallel with a series of environmental, social and economic studies.
“We are very concerned with environmental issues. All documentation is public, being available at the Portuguese Environment Agency and at the Directorate-General for Energy and Geology. The cleaning of the areas where we are going to intervene is one of those examples”, stressed the head of Aethel Mining.
The concessionaire company promises to alert the Government to “the good collaboration of the State agencies” for the revitalization of the Torre de Moncorvo mining project.
The iron ore mines of Torre de Moncorvo were the largest employer in the Northeast Transmontano region, in the 1950s, at one point employing some 1,500 miners.
Ore mining was suspended in 1983, following the bankruptcy of Ferrominas.


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