Aethel Mining says it is due to move forwards with second phase of mine
Aethel Mining, the concession holder of Torre de Moncorvo mines, has been explaining this week how the war in Ukraine – a major producer of iron ore – has caused demand for its iron aggregate to skyrocket, with pre-sales for the next 18 months.
“The demand for our product around the world is huge”, an official source tells Lusa. “We have an excellent product and very good logistics”.
The same source said in a written statement that the company continues preparations to move forward with the second phase of the mine and expects to produce the first batch of concentrate in 2024.
Asked by Lusa about a halt in production, the concession holder acknowledged “occasional technical stoppages” due “to equipment maintenance work and for introducing new, more environmentally friendly technologies.
“We have not stopped activity at the company. We are doing normal maintenance and improvement work on our line of equipment to make it more environmentally friendly.”
According to Aethel Mining, improvements in the equipment “are scheduled to be completed in 2/3 weeks”, so an increase in productivity is expected by the end of the summer.”
Aethel Mining’s own website describes “558 million tons of proven and probable reserves” identified at the mine, as well as “254 million tons of possible reserves”.
The mining project installed at cabeço da Mua in Torre de Moncorvo was resumed a little over two years ago – 38 years after being abandoned – with an investment of €550 million planned for the next 60 years.
Aethel Mining Limited is a “British company owned exclusively” by Portuguese Ricardo Santos Silva and US-based Aba Schubert, “which received approval from the Directorate-General of Energy and Geology (DGEG) in November 2019 to take control of Torre de Moncorvo mine”, which is touted as a “very significant iron ore deposit in the heart of Europe“.
Torre de Moncorvo iron ore mines were the region’s largest employer in the 1950s, with up to 1,500 miners.
Ore mining was suspended in 1983, with the bankruptcy of Ferrominas.