The Project


The mining industry is inseparable from the historical and cultural identity of the Iberian Peninsula. It has a high economic importance and is very useful for contemporary societies.
However, this activity causes negative environmental impacts (for example, physical or chemical pollution of soil and water), which needs to be corrected and minimized.
It was in this context that the LIFE RIBERMINE project “Fluvial freshwater habitat recovery through geomorphic-based mine ecological restoration in Iberian Peninsula” (LIFE18 ENV / ES / 000181) emerged.
This project focuses on mines with different characteristics (metallic and non-metallic), in two different EU countries (Spain and Portugal). It is coordinated by the “Dirección General de Transición Energética” which belongs to the “Consejería de Desarrollo Sostenible del Gobierno de Castilla-La Mancha” (Minas-JCCM), having has partners the CAOBAR, S.A. (Mining Company), the CCV Lousal (Associação Centro Ciência Viva do Lousal), the GEACAM, S.A. (Environmental Management of Castilla-La Mancha Gov.) and the UCM (Complutense University of Madrid).
LIFE RIBERMINE follows the objectives of the Water Framework Directive (Directive 2000/60 / EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 23 October, establishing a framework for the Community action in the field of water policy) ( which is the main instrument of the European Union’s Water Policy, establishing a framework for Community action for the protection of inland surface waters , transitional waters, coastal waters and groundwater.

Key Aspects

Solid and liquid residues from mining, such as Suspended Solid Cargo (SS) or Mine Acid Drainage (MAD), can lead to a set of serious environmental problems.
Erosion and soil loss, the silting up of watercourses and the subsequent
mischaracterization of the landscape and hydro morphology, or the acidification of water, are often consequences of mining activities. By interfering with the natural dynamics, they prejudice the biodiversity and the ecosystem services associated with the riverine habitats in their surroundings.
It is therefore essential to find and apply solutions to combat soil loss and the contamination of these waters, before they reach the watercourses.
LIFE RIBERMINE, proposes an innovative and complex approach, which operates at the level of the Hydrographic Basins. It is based on the application of practical solutions for soil recovery, ecological restoration, depollution of contaminated water and improvement of environmental quality, which will also benefit the natural ecosystems.
In this project, pioneering techniques of geomorphological restoration (GeoFluv-Natural Regrade and Talus Royal®) are combined with models of landscape evolution (SIBERIA), and revegetation of the degraded areas with native plant species.
The results obtained will be replicated and should have political and legal implications for the assessment of the mining sector.