Following on from news that mining companies continue to strike gold in the Alentejo, Turkish magnesium giant ESAN has teamed up with the government to plough 8.1 million into new research projects.
Lusa news agency reports that three new contracts have been signed, covering areas designated as “Alcácer” and “São Pedro das Cabeças” on the Iberian pirite belt.
ESAN is responsible for 85% of these projects, with EDM footing the bill for the rest.
Like oil and gas contracts covering areas designated as “Aljezur” and “Tavira” in the Algarve but in fact covering many other boroughs, the licenses in fact take in the municipalities of Grândola, Aljustrel, Castro Verde and Ourique.
A communiqué issued by secretary of state for energy Jorge Seguro Sanches said the investment in an area with “strong potential for copper and zinc is essential” and designed to make way for the discovery of “new mineral deposits” in the Alentejan subsoil.
The Iberian pyrite belt – a vast area stretching from Alcácer to Seville – is an zone “with major national mining potential”, he added.
Concessions are already held by mining concerns Almina and Somincor in Aljustrel and Neves Corvo.
ESAN, based in Istanbul, has “diverse interests” but “particular focus on the extraction and processing of industrial minerals destined for the ceramics industry”, explains Lusa.