Nelas (Municipality)
4,709,052.15 €
2012 - 2012

Environmental Remediation of the Vale Côvo Mining Area


The former mining area of Vale Côvo is located in the civil parish of Canas de Senhorim, in the municipality of Nelas and district of Viseu. It is located in the Ribeira da Pantanha drainage basin, 50 m from its right bank.

The works carried out between 1922 and 1949 are referred to as research. There are references to more than one shaft and, given the volume in the main spoil heap, it is assumed that there were galleries. The master or extraction shaft, measuring 2 m x 3 m with a height of 5 m, was strewn with debris, without protection, and was at risk of collapse. The literature refers to this concession as being of no economic interest, its sole interest being as protection for Urgeiriça. There was no use of chemical leaching by acidification the ores.

The contract for the environmental remediation of the Vale Côvo mine formed part of the “Works in Ribeira da Pantanha and Final Sealing of the New Dam” (Urgeiriça – Phase 3).

The work carried out consisted of the following main activities:

  • Clearing and preparation of temporary accesses to the spoil heap;
  • Removal of materials from the spoil heap with a volume of 904 m³ and transport to the dump in the area of the New Dam;
  • Drainage of the area adjacent to the spoil heap, to a maximum thickness of 0.60 m and transport of the resulting products (about 748 m³) to the dump at the New Dam;
  • Removal of the remains of the foundations of the former building and transport to a suitable dump authorized to receive them;
  • Sealing of existing shafts, through the construction of a reinforced concrete slab;
  • Construction of fencing to demarcate the area of the shafts;
  • Forming of the area affected, recovering the original morphology and restoration of the landscape using native species.

The contract for the 3rd Phase of Urgeiriça was awarded to the consortium Jeremias de Macedo & Cia, Lda / FR3E – Energy e Novas Oportunidades, Lda, for an amount of € 4,709,052.15 and had a duration of 450 days.

The investment made was co-financed by the Operational Programme for Territorial Enhancement 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.

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