Vila Nova de Cerveira (Municipality)
567,643.20 €
2007 - 2007

Environmental Remediation of the Covas Mining Area


The former mining area of Covas is located in the civil parish of Vila Nova de Cerveira, in the municipality of Covas and district of Viana do Castelo. It is centered in the former Valdarcas mine, on the edge of the Arga sierra and on the left bank of the river Coura.

The mining area also involves other former mines, such as Fervença (open pit) and Cerdeirinha (open pit and underground), in the so-called “Valdarcas Mining Preserve nº 58”, granted to Geomina Lda, covering a total area of 427.35 ha, where the mining of tin and tungsten operated normally between 1952 and 1984.

The environmental remediation works of the former mining area of Covas consisted of the following main activities:

  • Forming and Waterproofing of Spoil Heaps
    • Drainage and recovery of the spoil heap of Foundation E1. Cleaning for E2, 3, 4, 5;
    • Forming and waterproofing/consolidation of spoil heap E2, 3, 4, 5 in areas with gullies, with slopes suited to the stabilization of safety and the desired visual impact;
    • Reinforcement with protective walls.
  • Drainage/Treatment of Surface Water
    • Reopening and reformulation of perimeter clean water and rainwater ditches;
    • Construction of internal leachate drainage systems;
    • Conduction of drainage of leachates to “Ribeira Wetlands”, in the Ponte Brasil and Poço do Negro streams, tributaries of the Coura river.
  • Heritage
    • Demolition of surface infrastructure without heritage value and in ruins for E2, 3, 4, 5.
  • Safety
    • Safety fence (possible);
    • Protection/Sealing of galleries.
  • Renaturation and landscape recovery
    • Land revitalization of the coverage of the spoil heaps;
    • Reforestation/replanting of affected areas, aimed at the renaturation and landscaping of the area.

This contract was awarded to MT3 – Engenharia e Obras, Lda for 567,643.20 and had a duration of 270 days.

The investment was co-financed by the Northern Regional Operational Programme under the Third Community Support Framework and allowed minimization of the highly negative impact resulting from air and water pollution associated with the large volume of debris in the area, as well as the creation of conditions and encouragement of the economic activity of the land, ensuring for this purpose a new environmental framework, the development of vegetation, restoration of natural wildlife habitats and improvements to the landscape of the site.

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