- The company is exploring all available legal avenues to reverse this decision and to expedite the reinstatement of the Section C permit.
- A fully approved project, in operation and submitted to public exposure with all favorable reports cannot be paralyzed.
- The economic and social damage to the company, the region, the employees and Galicia is extensive.
- While the company is in the process of appealing the decision, it is permitted to continue conducting mineral exploitation operations at the Penouta Project.
- We hope and trust that the Court, once it has evaluated the essential environmental and social elements, as well as the impact that the suspension of the Company’s activity would have on the community, will reconsider its decision.
Compliance with all environmental regulations
The concession resolution for the exploitation of the resources in Section C has been granted in compliance with both state and regional regulations. Controls have been established to ensure that mining activities adhere to the current legislation.
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, as well as the reforestation of areas of the Penouta Project that had been abandoned by the previous operators approximately 40 years ago.
It is, therefore, an area that has not been in a natural state since 1985, suffering the inherent degradation that results from a mining operation that never had a Restoration Plan, such as the one contemplated by Strategic Minerals.
The company’s Restoration Plan complies with the requirements of the Environmental Impact Study (EIS) and is already carrying out restoration work on the mine, which will allow the entire area, historically degraded, to become an area with a good environmental quality, making it possible, in the future, to be integrated into the existing protected area.
Key to economic and strategic development
The Penouta Project contributes to the economy and employment in the area where the mine is located. Currently, 82% of its employees are from the province of Ourense, and of these, 75% are from the immediate surroundings of the mine.
A strategic project, due to the limited primary production of tin, tantalum, and niobium in Europe, Galicia has the potential to become a significant player in the global mining industry. Currently, the Penouta Project stands as the sole producer of tantalum and niobium in Europe, critical metals for the emerging green and digital economies.
The metals extracted are classified as strategic minerals by the EU and are listed in its Critical Raw Materials report. Extracting these minerals contributes to Spain’s self-sufficiency in mineral resources, thereby reducing dependence on imports from third countries, including those from conflict zones. This development presents a valuable solution for new economies.
Example of industry best practice
Strategic Minerals has always carried out responsible mining practices. It 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).
Finally, the company remains dedicated to responsible and sustainable mining practices, it values its role as a responsible corporate citizen and is confident in the integrity of its operations related to the Penouta Project.