MAYASA´s activity is focused in promotion of industrial, tourist and cultural projects, and the introduction of initiatives aimed at developing mercury-related research projects. Farming and stockbreeding activities carried out in its country estates. Restoration and maintenance activities on the Company’s historical heritage, and effort aimed at restoring the surrounding environment.
INFORMATION ABOUT MAYASA
MAYASA was incorporated on March 31st, 1982 and it is the successor of the Autonomous Entity called Consejo de las Minas de Almadén y Arrayanes (Board of the Almadén and Arrayanes mines), which controlled the operations in those mercury mines during the previous 70 years.
Since its incorporation, MAYASA has focused its activity on the exploit and commercialization of the natural resources available in the area surrounding Almadén.
Its long mining and metallurgical experience in exploiting mercury and its byproducts (red oxide, yellow oxide, calomels, etc...) has allowed it to provide services for preparing and operating mines, technical consulting (mostly in mining research and prospect), geology, drilling, the environment and civil engineering, with the development of its own technologies.
Besides, MAYASA carries out other activities, such as the farming and stockbreeding exploit of the farming estate of Dehesa de Castilseras.
Almadén’s mines are located on the Southwest of the province of Ciudad Real, and have been exploited since ancient times; the Romans were the first to operate them. In these mines is located the biggest mercury seam known in the world, from which has come one third of the mercury used by Humanity throughout its History.
MAYASA has been exploiting and commercializing Almadén’s natural resources since its incorporation in 1982.
The crisis of mercury, which began 10 years ago, when it began to be regarded as a big polluter, and the very restrictive environmental measures regarding this mineral promoted by the European Union resulted in the interruption in 2001 of the mineral (cinnabar) extracting activity in Almadén, and 2 years later, on July 2003, in the closure of the metallurgical activity for mercury production.
Since 2001, MAYASA has been focused on commercializing the surplus mercury which comes from the European chlorine industry, which, once treated, was exported to countries both within and outside the European Union. This activity continued until 2011, when the Community Strategy for Mercury came into force, which demands the total halt of the production and export of this metal.
The Company Plan 2002-2005, concluded with the trade unions, tried to offer an alternative to this situation of cessation of the mining and metallurgical activity with a number of measures among which were the adaptation of the Company’s structure and the promotion of alternative job generation. Once the time in force of this company plan ended, the new Community scenario has meant for MAYASA a reassessment of its situation, with a new Company Plan 2006-2011, based on the following objectives:
The Almadén Project had as its goal to transform Almadén’s mining facilities into a Mining Park, preserving and making use of its industrial, scientific and technological heritage, so that it can act as the engine for the social, economic and cultural development of Almadén and its hinterland.
Almadén’s Mining Park was inaugurated on January 6th, 2008, and its facilities can be visited -San Andrés whim, San Aquilino shaft, forced laborers’ gallery, Mercury Museum, etc., after being restored to their original state between the 17th and the 20th centuries.
The restoration of all the facilities and their becoming a museum, as well as the urban infrastructure for the Mining Park has meant the investment of more than 20 M€. A significant part of the restoration of these spaces has been carried out with FEDER’s financing.
The recovery of the Bustamante Furnaces (17th century) which in 1992 were declared heritage of cultural interest, and of Charles IV’s gate, was directly made by the Instituto de Patrimonio Histórico Español, which is attached to the Culture Ministry.
Almadén’s mercury mines (Ciudad Real), owned by MAYASA, a company of Grupo SEPI, have been included into UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites, together with those at Idrija, in Slovenia, on June 30th, 2012.
An important environmental restoration is underway within the mining facility and its surrounding area. Mention must be made to the restoration of the dump at the San Teodoro enclosure, the most important environmental project, with the investment of 8.5 M€.
This dump collected, during centuries, the tailings from the mining work and the waste from the metallurgical processes, until reaching a volume of about 3.5 M tones. Its environmental recovery involved earthwork - more than half a million cubic meters -, the addition of a 30 cm thick soil cover and the application of a sealing system, as well as the recovery of the plant cover.
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