Location
Mangualde (Municipality)
Investment
350,234.74 €
2007 - 2008

Environmental Remediation of the Espinho Mining Area

Concluded

The former mining area of Espinho is located in the civil parish of Espinho, in the municipality of Mangualde and district of Viseu. The town of Vila Nova de Espinho is located around 800 m to the south and Cunha Baixa around 1.5 Km to the west.

Two open pit mines comprised this deposit, Espinho I and II. The first, smaller pit, was not fully exploited as its reserves were not confirmed, and it was recovered using the tailings from the second pit. In total, around 30,256 kg of U3O8 were produced, contained in 18,114 tons of ore with an average U3O8 content of 0.16%. In open pit II, after exploration, the slopes were smoothed with tailings, the mining crater was signposted and the property boundaries fenced off. The poor ores were transported to the Cunha Baixa open pit, where they were leached. There was no use of in situ leaching, or ores in the physical space of this mine.

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

  • In situ forming of the spoil heap;
  • Forming and stabilization of the pit slopes with construction of a safety platform;
  • Creation of drainage systems;
  • Creation of a humid zone;
  • Landscaping and erection of fencing around the entire boundary of the area.

This contract was awarded to the consortium Tecnovia – Sociedade de Empreitadas, SA / LTO – Lavouras e Terraplenagens do Oeste, Lda. for 350,234.74 and had a duration of 120 days.

The investments made were co-financed by the Environment Operational Programme (POA) under the Third Community Support Framework, 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.