What is Muga Mine?
Muga Mine will extract potash using indoor mining, meaning, underground, by using mechanical methods (eg miners and conveyor belts). This type of conventional underground mining will be done through chambers and pillars. This implies the opening of holes (the chambers) following the extraction layers and regularly leaving protection beds without extracting (the pillars).
In Muga, the potash ore predominates and it will be extracted through a conventional (underground) chamber and pillar mine. Muga Mine will produce up to 500,000 tons of potash per year (MOP) during the first phase of project development until it reaches one million tons per year during the second phase. A total investment of approximately 570 million euros is expected.
Potash is one of the three most important components in soluble commercial fertilizers. It is very effective in improving the yield of those lands that by their very nature do not have the ideal characteristics for basic agricultural crops.
What type of mining are we talking about?
Given the type of deposit, the potash extraction will be carried out using interior mining, which is to say, underground, the use of mechanical techniques (e.g. miners and conveyor belts). This type of conventional underground mining will be carried our using chambers and pillars. That implies the opening of spaces (the chambers) following the extraction layers and leaving a regular solid form of protection without removal (the pillars).
What is the current status of Muga Mine?
At this moment, the company has received a positive resolution of the Environmental Impact Permit (DIA) issued by the Ministry of Ecological Transition (MITECO).
What are the next steps for Muga Mine?
Once the favorable Environmental Impact Permit has been received from the Ministry of Ecological Transition, MITECO then acts as a substantive body, together with the agencies of Navarre and Aragon Mines with the Governments of both autonomous communities, that will be in charge of granting the mining exploitation concession.
When will the mine be operational?
Once the corresponding permits have been received, the company estimates that the construction phase will last approximately 24 months. Once the construction phase is completed, the mine will be able to start producing potash. During the first phase, it will produce half a million tons per year.
How many years will Muga Mine last?
The Environmental Impact Permit has been granted for an exploitation period of 18 years. However, the company continues to carry out research work which, if successful, could extend these deadlines. Remember, Muga is the first of the 4 exploitation projects planned by Geoalcali.
How has public participation been taken into account when planning this project?
Legally, there is a period of public information for the project in which local councils, involved administrations and stakeholders are consulted regarding the project. At the same time, any individual can present allegations and consultations, having at their disposal the complete documentation as a non-technical summary and culturally accessible of the same.
But more than the legal requirements, for Geoalcali, the collaboration with the community is very important since the project is going to be a part of the region for a long period of time. That collaboration starts with giving detailed information to the public about the project.
In this sense, numerous meetings have been held, firstly with the local administrations, as public representatives of the citizens. But also with the habitants themselves, in public events celebrated in the localities of the involved areas, as personalised in the company´s offices. Also, the company has offered information directly to those neighbours that have shown interest in understanding the aspects of the project.
Now, Geoalcali maintains a collaboration with the entities in both autonomous administrations, interested in the implementation of methods which favour the information to the public.