MINAS DE ALQUIFE
Minas de Alquife is the largest open-pit iron ore mine in Europe. Situated close to European end markets due to its proximity to European steel mills, the Alquife mine is perfectly situated for European steelmakers.
The mine, which was closed in 1986, was acquired by the current sole shareholder in 2008. Since then, all permits and environmental requirements have been issued, so that on September 1, 2020, iron ore production was successfully resumed.
Minas de Alquife S.L.U. has full access to nearly 633 hectares of land covering the core area of the mining property, including the old open pit mine, the mine plant facilities and the old mining town. Since the financing of the ongoing project is carried out through a private investor, the Alquife mining project is independent of the volatility of the capital markets.
The mine has relevant historical, geological, landscape, technical-industrial and ethnological values, which have resulted in a specific way of life and work, shaping a collective identity in the territory. As a fundamental part of the history and mining-industrial legacy of Granada, the mining complex has been established as a Site of Cultural Interest.
SITUATION & GEOGRAPHIC MARKET
The Marquesado region constitutes an important iron metallogenetic district, where the Alquife deposit stands out.
The mining complex is located in the municipalities of Alquife, Lanteira, Aldeire, and Jérez del Marquesado, in the province of Granada (Andalusia), about 80 km east of Granada and 100 km north-west of Almería, in the eastern half of the Autonomous Community of Andalusia.
The remains of the old mining exploitation are located on the northern slope of the Sierra Nevada and at the southern end of the floodplain of the Marquesado del Zenete, made up of the 10 municipalities that occupy the southern part of the Guadix region.
In this area, two fundamental parts can be appreciated: the powerhouse of the waterfall and the mining preserve that, apart from the set of mines, has industrial facilities, mineral loading sites, the town of Los Pozos, an iron bridge and railroad tracks (actually not in use but will be restored with increasing production).
Nearby ports are Almería (100 km), Málaga (200 km) and Motril (150 km). The Huelva port (Atlantic) is 420 km away.
Be local, think global
Europe is the home market of MdA. Thanks to its excellent location, transport links and the associated short distances within Europe, Minas de Alquife supplies European steel producers environmentally friendly with iron ore of high quality.
As the global demand for high-quality iron ore is increasing, in the future, Minas de Alquife will also serve international steel producers via the southern Spanish ports.
Minas de Alquife is a privately owned iron ore mine. With its resumption of activities it is the largest open-pit mine in Europe.
The mine operates according to the latest standards and thanks to the short distances within Europe, it stands for environmentally friendly iron ore extraction and processing.
Minas de Alquife´s high-quality iron ore is in demand from steelworks worldwide. It is extracted under strict social aspects in order to optimally integrate both, residents and employees from the region with the lowest environmental impact. Together, we will become an agil supplier and reliable partner for steel companies worldwide.
In the Nasrid period (10-12th century), Alquife was the main iron producer of al-Andalus and became in the 19th and 20th centuries, when it reaches its peak, the largest iron producing center in Spain. This mining industrial heritage has a special relevance in the province of Granada. The Alquife mines are mainly made up of the mining preserve and, far from it, the powerhouse of the waterfall. The mining preserve, dedicated above all to the extraction of iron and, to a lesser extent, copper and silver, has both, underground and open-pit mining and a whole series of auxiliary buildings for the treatment, analysis of the mineral, repair and storage of the same, residential area of the mine personnel and spaces of a social nature (schools, hospital, church), corresponding mostly to contemporary times.
Until 1996 (when the mine closed), and during the last thirty years in operation, it was the main iron ore producing center in Spain, even exporting to various countries like Great Britain, France, Holland, Belgium, Italy, Germany and Romania. To make this commercialization viable, the mining preserve was equipped with modern mineral treatment equipment (such as the dense medium treatment plant and the magnetic separation treatment plant, located in the mining park) and storage, as well as the construction of a giant transport infrastructure. The mineral loading dock left from the mining preserve itself, crossing the Guadix plains, descending through the Nacimiento river valley and reaching Almería, where it was unloaded and, by sea, headed abroad and to the North of Spain. To this infrastructure it was necessary to add another fundamental one for the operation of the mining industry, the electrical network, achieved through different light factories, of which only a small installation known as the "waterfall powerhouse" remains. Thanks to industrial mining, electricity reached homes in the Marquesado de Zenete region, which was a considerable technological advance for a traditionally depressed area.
On September 1, 2020, iron ore production was successfully resumed.
start mining in Alquife area
Re-Start mining MdA
The mines are the most visible element of the region, they include the Cerro de Alquife and an area to the north that has an extension of about 2 km and an approximate area of 633 ha, delimited by the Rambla de Lanteira to the west and the Rambla de Alquife and Benéjar to the east.
The mines range from semi-underground exploitations, which pierce the Cerro del Castillo, to open-cast or short-pit mining, almost 300 m deep and currently semi-flooded, forming an artificial lake, with water from the aquifer. The average altitude of the preserve is 1,160 m, which corresponds to the contour line located in the center of the main cut. It´s location on a flat plateau terrain guarantees safe iron ore mining without endangering the surrounding area. This mining area, unique for its transformed and anthropized natural environment, configures a reddish landscape that is full of excavated hollows, alternated with plains.
This landscape is the result of historical evolution, of a prolonged mining operation from the 10th and 11th centuries until the end of the 20th century. The technical-industrial heritage stood out for applying from the end of the 19th century to 1996 the most modern techniques for the extraction and treatment of iron ore of the time.
Today, the mining complex has been established as a Site of Cultural Interest.
1,160 m a.s.l.
on a flat plateau
Site of Cultural Interest