Location
Bragança (Municipality)
Investment
1,539,204.44 €
2007 - 2007

Environmental Remediation of the Montesinho Mining Area

Concluded

The former Montesinho mine is located near the Spanish border, in the civil parish of França, which belongs to the municipality and district of Bragança. The mining area is located around 500 m from the village of Portelo and occupies around 90 ha, with access to the site from Portelo effected by way of a dirt track.

This is a tin (cassiterite) mine, which was operated mainly by means of underground mining, as only in the final years of the activity, which ended in 1993, did it operate as an open pit mine. This exploration was effected either formally by the mining companies successively involved, or by means of artisanal mining through the excavation of small galleries in the hillside (locally called “contracta” galleries). It was in the context of formal underground mining that the most extensive mining operations took place, involving the opening of chimneys and galleries on 5 mining floors.

The environmental remediation work at Montesinho mine consisted of a first phase followed by a complementary phase, in which the main activities were:

  • Outer fencing off of the mining area (> = 50 ha) to prevent intrusion;
  • Detailed inventorying on the surface of the shafts/chimneys/galleries and subsidence/landslides;
  • Protection/sealing of wells, galleries and chimneys;
  • Smoothing of slopes;
  • Forming of slopes;
  • Revegetation.

The main and complementary contract were awarded, respectively, to the consortium Tecnovia – Sociedade de Empreitadas, SA / LTO – Lavouras e Terraplenagens do Oeste, Lda and to Construções António Joaquim Maurício, SA, for a grand total of 1,539,204.44 and a total duration of 230 days.

The investment made was co-financed by the Northern Regional Operational Programme under the Third Community Support Framework and enabled the restoration of minimum conditions of safety for the area, turning it into a space people could use without fear of falling into the mine shafts and chimneys located in the middle of the heap.