San José Valdeflórez is a sustainable project, based on the idea of maximum respect for the environment and conceived as to minimize the impact on the environment, the flora and fauna of the surroundings. Possible downsides have been analyzed in detail and protection measures, corrections and rehabilitation of the effected site have been proposed. With the aim of safeguarding and co-existing with the environment, the project will go further than that which is required by the European regulatory framework.
Exploitation would require recycled water from the wastewater treatment facility (EDAR) and reused water from the internal recirculation processing, treated through purification in a closed circuit so that an inverse osmosis plant will be constructed. Likewise, leaks into the Calerizo aquifer will be geologically impossible.
The orography of the land will act as a natural acoustic barrier. In addition, in the north zone of the project, an acoustic and visual barrier has been designed, which will avoid the propagation of sound waves through the valley. Furthermore, the mine will only operate during daytime shifts.
The method chosen for piling up the tailings, that is the material extracted from the deposit, is "Dry Stack Tailings" a very novel way that provides security, reduces the consumption of water and does not need a basin to dry the material. More than 99% of the waste is harmless, and in fact 80% consists solely of pulverized rock.
A comprehensive study on the flora and fauna spotted in the zone of the project and the surroundings has been performed together with specialist consultant. Before initiating the action, new research will be performed in order to prevent possible effects on the fauna. Strict monitoring will be performed in order to guarantee the preservation of environmental values.
The activity will minimize the release of dust by various measures: placement of vegetable soil screens, maintenance of arboreal vegetation spots, progressive restoration of rubble and watering of tracks, among others. In addition, the predominant winds have a southeast path(link), which will weaken any possible impact on the atmospheric quality of Cáceres.
The activities in the deposit will not be visible nor from Cáceres nor from the motorway to Trujillo. In addition, in order to minimize the use of artificial light, the extraction has been limited to daytime shifts and it has been proposed to cover the factory or large parts of it. This will greatly reduce light contamination.
The pit will be much less than has been disseminated. The company has made a great effort to reduce the volume extracted and the dimensions of the mine which will cover a maximum of 668 x 434 meters.
Various options are being considered to rehabilitate the deposit after its exploitation, from a fresh-water reservoir to an amphitheater.
The project foresees the investment of 16 million Euros in land rehabilitation, which will begin soon after the commencement of the mining production. The best practices in the world will be used in order to recover the vegetation in the zone.
The complete restoration of the site will be performed once the extraction operations are concluded. At the end of exploitation, the pit may be converted into a fresh-water reservoir, which can be used for education and recreational activities. Likewise, other options are also being considered, which may prove attractive for Caceres residents. Among other examples being considered, is the transformation of the site into an amphitheater, an option already used in projects completed in Australia or Sweden (in the picture).