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13/04/2024
Mining News

Controversy and oposition surrounding magnesite mining project

According to Magnesitas, the Erdiz area holds 11.8 million tonnes of magnesite ore, with an annual extraction target of 600,000 tonnes. The company plans to invest EUR 18 million and generate 39 jobs. Securing approval as UGEP allows streamlining infrastructure for operational needs, including adaptations to road NA-1740, as outlined by the Foral Government.

Initiated in 2001, the project faced delays for various reasons. Notably, a similar venture by the company in Zilbeti was rejected by the Spanish Supreme Court in 2015, which is in close proximity to Erdiz. Erdiz, known for its significance in livestock, concentrates approximately 15% of Navarra’s livestock farming, making it a crucial area.

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However, over the past two decades, strong opposition has emerged in Baztan, notably from the Erdiz Bizirik platform. The platform asserts that the project entails ecological destruction and jeopardizes native livestock. Highlighting Erdiz’s role as a hub for 80 professional farmers, the platform emphasizes the interconnectedness of agriculture and expresses concerns about potential job losses affecting various sectors. The opposition also argues that the project contributes to the exploitation of local land and heritage for the benefit of external multinational corporations.

In response to the opposition, Erdiz has mobilized citizens to voice their dissent, preparing a list of objections and encouraging widespread support against the project. They argue that the project contradicts the sentiments of the Baztans, citing the recent municipal elections where eight out of ten citizens voted in favor of opposing parties.

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