- It is an economic engine on which 129 families and auxiliary companies currently working at the Penouta Mine rely, most of them from the Viana do Bolo region.
- Moreover, it holds strategic significance at the European level, ensuring the supply of essential minerals for the new green and digital economies.
- The Penouta Mine is currently the only operating mine producing tantalum and niobium in Europe.
- The company is exploring all available legal avenues to reverse the decision of the TSXG and to expedite the reinstatement of the Section C permit. They also express their full support for planned mobilizations in the coming days aimed at advocating for the continued operation of Penouta. The initial mobilization is scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday, October 31st, at 12:00 noon, within the municipality of Viana do Bolo.
Viana do Bolo, October 30, 2023. The mayors of Viana do Bolo, A Veiga and Vilariño de Conso, industry associations such as Arigal, professional associations such as mining engineers and geologists, the Official Mining Chamber of Galicia, as well as labor unions and workers, gathered today in Viana do Bolo to call for the continuity of the Penouta Project. They made this collective plea during a press conference held at the City Hall of Viana do Bolo, in Ourense, affirming their unanimous support for the Penouta Project. They underscored its significance as an economic engine for Viana and its region, as well as its strategic importance for Galicia and Spain.
This is an economic project on which 129 families and auxiliary companies currently working at the Penouta Mine rely, most of them in the Viana do Bolo region, and stands as a strategic European project, ensuring the supply of essential minerals for the new green and digital economies as the only operating mine for tantalum and niobium in Europe.
The company underlines that this decision represents a major damage, both for the employment created by this mine and for the support of mining projects by investors. To date, the investment made has exceeded €45 million. In this regard, the president of Strategic Minerals, Miguel de la Campa, pointed out that the repercussions of the precautionary closure in terms of image and legal security for Galicia and Spain are very relevant, given the paralysis of investments, even foreign ones, that this decision may generate.
Strategic Minerals asserts that the decision is based on a perceived risk of damage that does not exist and is not even mentioned in the order. Furthermore, this risk has not been substantiated in the lawsuit, and the actual damage resulting from the closure of the mine has not been assessed. In this regard, the mayors, in their statements, have affirmed these facts, emphasizing that the request for a precautionary measure is inexplicably made a year after the concession was granted. Mayor Juan Anta of A Veiga also pointed out that “the precautionary decision has a devastating impact on the region in terms of employment and economic activity generated around the Penouta Project.”
Strategic Minerals is exploring all available legal avenues to reverse the decision of the TSXG and to expedite the reinstatement of the Section C permit. It also expresses its full support for planned mobilizations in the coming days aimed at advocating for the continued operation of Penouta. The initial mobilization is scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday, October 31st, at 12:00 noon, within the municipality of Viana do Bolo.
The company expresses its heartfelt gratitude for the unwavering support received from the institutions that took part in the press conference, as well as from the sector, the employees, and their families, after learning of the announcement of the TSXG’s decision. Strategic Minerals wishes to reaffirm its commitment to the Penouta Project and firmly believes that, upon a comprehensive assessment of the essential environmental and social factors as well as the potential impact of suspending the company’s operations on the community, the Court will reconsider its decision.
Strict compliance with all legal regulations
Strategic Minerals has always carried out responsible mining practices and has operated within the regulations of Spanish mining legislation. The Company’s mineral exploitation activities at the Penouta Project have always remained in strict compliance with all environmental controls and reporting requirements, including testing water quality and discharge, monitoring air quality, flora and fauna, and the reforestation of areas of the Penouta Project that had been abandoned by the previous operators approximately 40 years ago.
Strategic Minerals has been recognized within the European Union as an exemplary company for best practice in the circular economy; selected to be part of a European study to support the development of a best practice guide on waste management plans for the extractive industries in accordance with Article 5 of Directive 2006/21/EC. And, as of December 2020, Strategic Minerals is a member of the European Raw Materials Alliance (ERMA).