Minera Los Frailes (MLF), a company owned by Grupo Mexico and Minorbis (Grupo Magtel ) and owner of the mining rights awarded in the Aznalcollar international tender , expects to have the necessary authorizations for the start of construction by the end of this year. of the Los Frailes Mine, in the area where the extinct Aznalcollar mine used to be, after the project has recently been declared of Higher Public Interest (IPS) by the Junta de Andalucia, the MLF reports in a note.
The statement explains that “this type of recognition is granted to those projects that contribute to the fulfillment of essential policies for the State or society, or that protect fundamental values ​​for the lives of citizens such as health, safety or the environment” .
The Mina Los Frailes project integrates two aspects: on the one hand, the restoration and rehabilitation of the old liabilities (facilities, effluents, emissions, remains or waste deposits produced by mining operations in the past); and the development of an underground mine for more than two decades, with a direct investment of more than 300 million euros in construction and an approximate impact of 2,000 jobs, 1,200 direct and 800 indirect.
According to MLF, this project “has an integrating approach to circular economy policies through the reuse of almost 90% of the process water and the use of previously conditioned contact water, and the recovery of mining waste, which that would allow there to be no sludge dams”. The latter was what ended up causing the ecological disaster at the end of the 1990s due to the failure of a dam on the Agrio River.
MLF explains that, in addition to the investment in the development of the mine, it will allocate 50 million euros to environmental actions and more than 60 million euros to the operating costs of the old liabilities.
The project, he adds, was submitted to public information in 2019 and at the same time there were consultations with the main competent bodies, both regional and state. As
a result of these consultations and public information, MLF has made adjustments to the project in order to obtain the relevant permits. Thus, the water evacuation point has been transferred, purified from 90% of the pre-existing liabilities, from the Agrio river -point initially planned- to the Guadalquivir river, as a result of the consultation of one of the competent administrations.
The new evacuation point will be carried out in a maritime-terrestrial area, with a large reception capacity and more than 80 kilometers from the mouth of the Guadalquivir river. And it supposes an additional investment, since it implies the construction of a pipeline from the mining complex to the Guadalquivir river.
Since 2015, MLF has made an accumulated investment of 40 million euros for the environmental management of the old mining complex and for the preparatory work for the start-up of the project.

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