The Lousal Ciência Viva Science Centre, the only international partner in the LIFE RIBERMINE project, together with the project coordinators, Minas JCCM – Castilla La Mancha Gov. and partners from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, organised the LIFE RIBERMINE Technical Conferrence in the Lousal pilot area on the 20th and 21st of February 2024. This event focused on presenting the techniques applied and sharing some of the results obtained so far in the project’s areas of intervention in Spain and Portugal. It was aimed at all those interested in these issues, with particular emphasis on the project’s beneficiaries, but also at a different audience, both technical and student, such as members of local and regional administrations, professionals from the mining sector and the environmental field.

Presidential table: Álvaro Pinto (CCV-Lousal), Jorge Relvas (CCV-Lousal), Javier de la Villa Albares (JCCM-Minas) and José Francisco Martín Duque (UCM)

Álvaro Pinto (CCV-Lousal) interacting with an element of the LIFE RIBERMINE exhibition

CCV-Lousal auditorium audience

José Francisco Martín Duque (UCM) and Álvaro Pinto (CCV-Lousal)

Eleven speakers took part in these days, covering the different themes addressed in this project. On the first day, work focused on the project’s technical approach, explaining the different techniques used in both Spain and Portugal. Day 21 was dedicated to the AFTER-LIFE of the project under discussion, as well as the dissemination and transferability of the methodologies already applied in two case studies. In addition, the conference gave the opportunity to exchange knowledge and share possibilities for the future of the project with the different organisations present.

Participants interacting with the LIFE RIBERMINE exhibition

The event was attended by six universities – Universidad Castilla-La Mancha, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, on the Spanish side; Universidade de Lisboa, Universidade de Coimbra and Universidade de Aveiro, on the Portuguese side.

Externally, but completely in tune with the philosophy and premises of the LIFE RIBERMINE project, Mónica Silva, a PhD student at the Geosciences Centre of the University of Coimbra, presented the application of the methodologies used in the LIFE RIBERMINE project in the case study of the Cape Mondengo quarries, and Thainara Ferreira, a PhD student in the REPAIR group at the University of Aveiro, showed the results of her research into the use of marine macroalgae in the recovery of critical rare earth elements resulting from acid mine drainage.

Speakers at the event

The conference was attended by representatives of organisations in the mining sector such as SOMINCOR, S.A., EDM – Empresa de Desenvolvimento Mineiro and the President of the Sociedad Española para la Defensa del Patrimonio Geológico y Minero, highly connected to the territory and its exploitation, as well as organisations in the environmental sector, EcoSativa and the Institute for Nature Conservation and Forests.
During these two days, the “almost final” of the LIFE RIBERMINE project was marked, sharing the practical results achieved over these 4 years, although some actions are still being carried out, with its conclusion in March 2024. The event was very well received by all participants, reflecting the originality and relevance of the LIFE RIBERMINE project, the fulfilment of the proposed goals and the high quality of the work carried out and in progress.

Participants visiting the Lousal Pilot Area

Group photo

Pictures by: Bruno Gonçalves Visuals