The initiative is part of the industrial tourism project promoted by the cluster and the Carballeda City Council.
The former mining areas of Pizarras Tranquila and Pena Pandela have long since fallen into disuse at least as an operation. Now, the Slate Cluster and the Carballeda de Valdeorras Town Council want to make them part of their industrial tourism project, which aims to turn this activity – the economic engine of the area – into an attraction for visitors.
And in this project, which has just begun, the Cluster and the City Council have the support of the regional government – the Xunta, which will invest 1.5 million euros in the recovery of the two spaces. This was announced by the vice-president of the regional government – La Xunta and regional minister of industry, Francisco Conde, during his visit to Valdeorras.
“Attracting tourists is a challenge for us”, said the president of the cluster, Víctor Cobo. The Mayor, María del Carmen González, wanted to celebrate “the beginning of another economic activity that will be at the forefront” and later stated that “mining is in the DNA of our land”, citing Las Médulas as “an example of the beauty that a properly managed mining operation brings to the area where it takes place”. González added: “Slate is not destruction, it is progress and beauty”. The Mayor referred to past experiences where visitors were keen to learn more about the slate sector and highlighted the “surprised faces” when they saw the advanced technologies used in the industry.
Mr Conde visited Valdeorras accompanied by the Director General of Energy Planning and Natural Resources, Pablo Fernández (former head of the Regional Industry Bureau in the province), and the Xunta’s representative in Ourense, Gabriel Alén. The Regional Minister of Industry, Francisco Conde, underlined the interest of the Cluster in environmental restoration. He cited the two Carballeda projects. “They will allow Galicia to continue advancing in the recovery of mining areas and to understand that mining must be used in a rational, orderly and sustainable way,” said Conde, who stressed the importance of public-private collaboration in this task. He said that mining must continue to be an economic engine in rural areas and recalled that Galicia accounts for 8% of Spain’s mining production, a greater weight than it has in the economy as a whole.
The environmental certificate
During the meeting with Mr. Conde, the president of the cluster recalled that in December, the environmental impact statement of the product was renewed until 2026, in accordance with the international standard ISO 14025. “We are a sector in constant transformation (…) that has been able to adapt to the times and to the demanding legislation in force, especially in environmental matters”, Cobo stressed.
Source: La Voz de Galicia and O Sil. June 2022