Fluvial freshwater habitat recovery through geomorphic-based mine ecological restoration in Iberian Peninsula
LIFE18 ENV/ES/000181

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The Pilot project in Lousal (Portugal). Topographic remodeling, substrates and seeding – Short Version

Geomorphological Restoration and Monitoring of the Santa Engracia Mine (Peñalén, Spain) – short version

Comparison of intervention areas
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September 2021 I November 2021

2019 I 2022


LIFE RIBERMINE in “Ciência Viva no Verão 2022”

In another action to monitor and learn about the biodiversity of the area restored by…

PANORAMA Project Summer School and EDM, visit LIFE RIBERMINE (Lousal Pilot Project)

The “Summer School - Acid Mine Drainage and REE contamination mitigation”, organized by the IST…

Life Under Your Feet! – “Alive Science in the Summer 2022” at the Lousal Pilot Project

The LIFE RIBERMINE project and the “Mine of Science – Lousal Ciência Viva Science Center”…

The Project

The LIFE RIBERMINE project “Fluvial freshwater habitat recovery through geomorphic-based mine ecological restoration in Iberian Peninsula” (LIFE18 ENV / ES / 000181), has an estimated duration of 4 ½ years (September 2019 to March 2024) and an AFTER-LIFE continuity plan of 5 years.

LIFE RIBERMINE is based on a multidisciplinary approach, in areas affected by mining activities in the Iberian Peninsula, where pioneering techniques of geomorphological restoration (GeoFluv-Natural Regrade and Talus ROYAL®) are combined with landscape evolution models (SIBERIA) and revegetation with native species. It is intended to promote a complete environmental recovery which recreates the original landscapes, having positive impacts on the soils, on the cleaning of contaminated waters and on the quality of riparian habitats.

Mining Restoration Phases

Topographic Remodeling
Preparation of the Substrate
Preparation of the Soil
Vegetation Settlement
Recovery of Ecosystem Assets and Values

This LIFE ENVIRONMENT project is co-financed by the European Union and results from a Spanish-Portuguese partnership of 5 entities. It is coordinated by the Consejería de Desarrollo Sostenible y la Dirección General de Transición Energética del Gobierno de Castilla-La Mancha (Minas JCCM), having as partners CAOBAR, S.A. (Empresa Mineira), CCV Lousal (Associação Centro Ciência Viva do Lousal), GEACAM, S.A. (Environmental Management of Castilla-La Mancha Gov.) and UCM (Universidad Complutense de Madrid).

Name of the project: Fluvial freshwater habitat recovery through geomorphic-based mine ecological restoration in Iberian Peninsula
Reference: LIFE18 ENV / ES / 000181
Duration: September-2019 to March-2024
Global Budget: € 2 941 280,00
EU contribution: € 1,613,979.00

Key Ideas of the Project


The mining industry is essential for the maintenance of societies, has great economic importance in the EU and employs thousands of people. However, there are several environmental impacts associated with this activity, so the recovery of mining areas is essential.


Mining impacts may include contamination, erosion and silting up of water lines and mischaracterization of the hydromorphology, impairing nature conservation and the maintenance of the riverside biodiversity. Appropriate mining restoration practices combined with ecological habitat restoration are essential to keep a good environmental quality.


An adequate ecological restoration combined with innovative techniques and solutions that use the geomorphological potential of the sites involved, guarantee the landscape naturalness and the ecosystemic functionality.


Physical and chemical contamination of water in mining regions can have varied origins, like the erosion and sediment emission or the Acid Mine Drainage (DAM). Finding solutions to avoid these phenomena, prior to their contact with natural water courses, is a primal goal in the recovery of such areas.


The knowledge and respect for the natural values and biodiversity that are part of a mining region, guarantee the possibility of making mining activities compatible with nature conservation, through the ecological restoration of degraded areas, namely in protected areas.


The mining activity has a long tradition in the Iberian Peninsula being part of its cultural identity. Usually developing in sparsely populated and depressed areas, it contributes to the attraction, growing and pep of the population. Former recovered mining areas, can also provide education actions and sharing on mining history and technology. Scientific and nature tourism and similar activities are opportunities to boost the population, preserve the local memories and obtain new products, thus contributing to a sustainable development.

Together, let's build better worlds!