Location
Vila Pouca de Aguiar (Municipality)
Investment
5,718,333.53 €
2002 - 2003

Environmental Remediation of the Jales Mining Area

Concluded

The former mining area of Jales is located in the civil parish of Jales and Vreia de Jales, in the municipality of Vila Pouca de Aguiar and district of Vila Real.

The Jales gold mine has been mined since Roman times (1st and 2nd centuries). The works took stretched over 4 to 5 kilometres, reaching a depth of 120 m. It had a huge visual impact, standing out in the surrounding environment. Recent operations were resumed in 1929, with the exploration of the Gralheira vein system and, later, in 1933, the work moved to the Filão do Campo lode field. Due to the insolvency of the managing company, the mine was closed in 1993, although even since 1992 exploration and mining activities had been virtually limited to simple maintenance and repair work.

This was the 1st Environmental Recovery Work in Portugal, the interventions having focused on the spoil heap and the mine bottom effluent.

Under the contract for the environmental recovery of the spoil heap, the main activities were:

  • Sealing of the Master Shaft;
  • Re-profiling or forming of the configuration of the spoil heaps;
  • Sealing and waterproofing of the re-profiled dumps;
  • Reorientation of the natural drainage of the surrounding areas, by means of the implementation of a peripheral surface drainage system;
  • Implementation of a surface and subsurface drainage system;
  • Implementation of an underground drainage system;
  • Landscaping of the site;
  • Installation of fencing and proper signage;
  • Demolition and cleaning of the ruined former facilities.

In 2006, a second contract for the installation of a mine effluent treatment plant was performed.

The first contract was awarded to the consortium Jeremias de Macedo & Cia / MT3 – Engenharia e Obras, Lda for € 5,361,538.02 and had a duration of 240 days. The second was awarded to MT3 – Engenharia e Obras, Lda for 356,795.51 and had a duration of 90 days.

The investment made was co-financed by the Environment Operational Programme under the Third Community Support Framework and enabled the creation of general conditions of safety, given the proximity of this mining area to a residential area, and the attenuation or reversal of environmental damage and also the mitigation of impacts of a visual and landscape-related nature.

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