EMED closer than ever to restart Rio Tinto copper mine in Spain

EMED closer than ever to restart Rio Tinto copper mine in Spain

This is the original Rio Tinto, meaning "red river" in Spanish, which gave birth (an its name) to EMED's mine and world's No. 2 miner Rio Tinto.

EMED Mining (LON:EMED) (TSX:EMD) shares jumped in London and Toronto Friday, 1.3% and almost 3% respectively, after the European copper-gold miner announced it had received an environmental “compatibility report” from Spanish authorities, considered a key part of  the permitting process for its Rio Tinto copper mine on the Iberian peninsula.

The company, which also has projects in Cyprus and Slovakia, said the Andalucia’s Ministry of Environment and Land Planning is in favour of reopening the mine, which modern history dates back to 1871. That year the Spanish government sold most of the mines in the southern region to a British firm, which would eventually morph into what is today the world’s second largest miner Rio Tinto (ASX, LON:RIO).

EMED’s project is located in the Iberian pyrite belt, 65 km northwest of Seville, Spain. The open pit mine and processing facility had been on care and maintenance since mining ceased in 2001, due to low copper prices of less than $1/lb. at the time.

The company was granted an option to acquire the operation in May 2007, and it was subsequently acquired in October 2008.

According to the European firm, the life of this mine can be easily extended beyond the current expected 14 years, and had potential for higher grades once operations started targeting underground reserves later in the mine plan.

EMED has already spent $50 million on the Rio Tinto mine and 100 people are on site at the moment. At full blast the mine would employ 1,200 people.

Image of the nearby river, Rio Tinto, by Carol Stoker, NASA/ WikiMedia Commons.