A Turkish mining company that has announced plans to invest €7.6 million over three years prospecting for minerals in Portugal’s Alentejo region has chosen the town of Aljustrel, in Beja district, as its local base.
In a statement sent to Lusa News Agency, Aljustrel council said that Eczacibasi ESAN, which is already working on the basis of a concession at Monte das Mesas in the municipality, is to set up shop at the town’s Municipal Micro-Companies Centre.
The local mayor, Nelson Brito, told Lusa that it was a “reason for pride” that the municipality would be receiving “the professional headquarters” of the company in Portugal, which he said could create “between 15 and 20 jobs” in the current phase.
According to Brito, the project is “important, because [it] represents the possibility of exploring more than one mine”. If that does prove to be the case, he said, that will “open another window of opportunity” in the mining sector and mean “more employment and wealth distribution in the municipality”.
Eczacibasi ESAN is to work on prospecting and research in three areas of the Iberian Pyrite Belt in the Alentejo, under a contract signed in February with EDM – Empresa de Desenvolvimento Mineiro, a local mining company. The project calls for a minimum investment of €7.6 million over three years.
Work is to take place in the concessions of Monte das Mesas and of São Pedro das Cabeças in Castro Verde, also in Beja district, and that of Alcácer, in Setúbal district.
As well as the general contract for the three areas, the two companies have also signed a specific contract relative to Monte das Mesas and that is why Eczacibasi has already started work in the area, an EDM official told Lusa on Wednesday.
According to the official, Eczacibasi is to start work in the other two concession areas only after specific contracts for those areas have been signed.
In February the then chairman of EDM, Carlos Caxaria, explained to Lusa that the companies would be looking for copper, zinc, lead or other associated minerals.
According to Eczacibasi’s website, the Turkish company was founded in 1978 and has a presence in 40 countries. It is currently mining at more than 20 sites, producing and exporting various minerals, including quartz, clay and metals such as zinc and lead.