The European Commission approved the LIFE ETAD project  (Ecological Treatment of Acid Drainage), which will allow the development of a new purifying method of water derived from mines in Andalucía, namely in the Iberian Pyrite Belt and the Odiel basin, that will also be implemented in other areas of Europe.

In this project, which counts on a 2.650.738 million Euros budget and an completion time till December 2017, participate the Consejería de Medio Ambiente y Ordenación del Territorio through Agencia de Medio Ambiente y Agua,  Sacyr Construcción and the University of Huelva, which, on its turn, informed the autonomic administration by means of an press release.

The project aims at the conception and optimisation of the passive treatment process of acid mine drainage in a standard location in the Iberian Pyrite Belt, as well as the construction and activation of a passive treatment technology installation, which will thus by a contribute to attain the goals of the Plano National Hydrological Plan of the Tinto, Odiel and Piedras rivers. Likewise purified waters are to be achieved to be used as irrigation resource for vineyards and citrus production, a feasible alternative in the affected areas.

The beauty of the Corta Atalaya of the Rio Tinto Mines

The results previewed state the capacity of full scale passive technologies as feasible treatment of acid mine drainage, the improvement of the water quality in the area and the resource to technologies that would solve a serious environmental problem that affects water degraded by the mining activity, both in Andalucía and in other locations in Europe, since the Life Etad project aims at presenting itself as a reference pilot project for other areas affected by similar problems in the European continent

The intense miner activity performed in the Iberian Pyrite Belt resulted in abandoned mines and mining waste in slag heaps, sludge deposits, open air pits, etc. These degraded areas are the main contamination source of both surface and ground waters in the Odiel basin, due to the acid drainage they generate.

Source: La Vanguardia

Project goal

Implement an optimized design of a passive treatment system for acid mine drainage process, in a kind of IPF mining location.

Demonstrate by building and launching a full-scale plant of passive treatment technology...(+) 

Project progress

 First works of the experimental treatment plant LIFE ETAD have already executed; they have consisted in transplanting of the protected species plants (Erica andevalensis) present in the plot and that could be affected by the execution of the works.


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