Location
Gouveia (Municipality)
Investment
454,450.98 €
2011 - 2012

Environmental Remediation of the Barrôco I Mining Area

Concluded

The Barrôco I mine is located in the town of Ribamondego in the municipality of Gouveia and district of Guarda. It is located on a shallow slope facing SW, having an average elevation of 420 m. From a demographic standpoint, it is an isolated and remote location, visited by hunters and shepherds, without urban pressure. Bushes, small shrubs and some stone pines predominate. There is no agricultural land in the vicinity, the area being grazed by herds of goats and sheep.

This former underground mine belonging to the CPR (Companhia Portuguesa de Rádio) carried out small-scale operations, the deposit having been sampled by the ENU (Empresa Nacional de Urânio), which opened two open pit mines with a single boundary and an area of around 10,000 m2. Only one of them actually saw any mining operations, to a depth of 25 m, but these were not completed due to depletion of the mineralization. The mine produced around 9,526 Kg of U3O8, contained in ore with an average U3O8 content of 0.106%. The ore with low content, around 30,000 tons, remained stacked at the mine site, and was transported (1992-1995) to the poor ore treatment centre at Castelejo mine, where it was leached.

The environmental remediation works of this former mining area consist of the following main activities:

  • Cleaning and removal of materials from the mine, depositing them in a controlled manner at a suitable site in order to prevent their spread and protect the surrounding water environment;
  • Construction of peripheral fencing, erection of appropriate signage and establishment of restrictions on use of the fenced off areas;
  • Lining with layers of stable drainage ground, of a defined thickness, capable of preventing the scattering of the spoil heap deposits due to wind erosion and dislodging of sediment;
  • Slope stabilization through surface forming of the landfills;
  • Implementation of an internal perimeter surface drainage system;
  • Landscaping of the area involving the adjustment of the modelling of the landfills to the morphology of the site and also the execution of herbaceous and tree and shrub cover using species compatible with the natural conditions and with the remaining environmental rehabilitation actions;
  • Implementation of an environmental maintenance, monitoring and control plan.

This contract was awarded to Irmãos Almeida Cabral, Lda for 454,450.98 and had a duration of 243 days.

The investments made were co-financed by the Thematic Operational Programme for Territorial Enhancement (POVT) under the NSRF, and allowed the environmental liabilities resulting from mining at this location to be resolved, bringing benefits to local populations through the improvement of current conditions and use of the areas reclaimed for other ends.