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Aethel mining got the green light to extract iron ore from Moncorvo mines in 2019 after the mines had been closed for around 30 years. Moncorvo is believed to have the largest reserves of iron ore in Europe.

Environment agency rejects €550 million mining project in Moncorvo

The implementation project for the final phase of the Torre de Moncorvo iron ore mines, which is being carried out by Aethel Mining and has an estimated investment of €550 million, has been rejected by Portuguese Environment Agency (APA). According to the information on APA’s website, the Environmental Compliance Report for the Execution Project (RECAPE) for the definitive phase of the project in Bragança district was issued with a decision of “non-compliance” with the favourable Environmental Impact Statement (DIA), which was issued at an earlier stage. According to the Evaluation Commission, “the Mining Plan (project) presented seems to be a rehash of the project submitted in the previous phase, lacking the level of detail and definition corresponding to an implementation project, describing only generic situations and multiple options that could be adopted”. Now, Aethel will have to ‘go back to the drawing board’ if it wants to proceed with its plans.