The origins of EDM date back to 1966 with the creation of SMS – Sociedade Mineira de Santiago (CUF Group), which discovered the Gavião deposit and, later, in 1977, participated in the discovery of the world-class Neves-Corvo copper and tin deposits. In 1979, SMS was transformed into EMMA – Empresa Mineira e Metalúrgica do Alentejo, EP which, in 1982, by amendment of its charter, became EDMA – Empresa de Desenvolvimento Mineiro do Alentejo, EP, operating predominantly in the subsector of polymetallic sulphides. Later, with the publication of Decree Law no 148/86, of 18 June, EDM, EP was established as a result of the merger of the public companies EDMA – Empresa de Desenvolvimento Mineiro do Alentejo, EP and Ferrominas, EP, under the framework of Decree Law no 260/76, of 8 April.
Following the publication of Decree-Law no 313/89 of 21 September, the then EDM – Empresa de Desenvolvimento Mineiro, EP was transformed into a legal person governed by private law, in the form of a public limited company with publicly-owned majority shareholdings, becoming known as EDM – Empresa de Desenvolvimento Mineiro, SA.
Since its origin, EDM has assumed structuring functions in the domestic mining industry, performing tasks of sector operator of the Portuguese State and assuming the role of “holding” company for that sector.