Located in the district of Calañas, just 38 kilometres from Aguas Teñidas. The reopening of this historic mine contributed to the feasibility of the company’s extension project.
Sotiel Mine is an underground polymetallic massive sulphides deposit (copper, zinc, lead, silver and gold). The proximity of this mine to the other facilities in Almonaster la Real helps to ensure that all the extracted ore is processed at the same processing plant.
Sotiel Mine was of great importance in Roman times and has been operated at different periods throughout history. In 2001, the mine closed down due to the slump in metal prices.
It was thought that the mine would be closed permanently, as the low ore grade would not make its reopening feasible for new companies in the area. However, thanks to the solid business model introduced by Sandfire MATSA and the extension project, it became possible to reopen the mine in January 2015.
The work at Sotiel mine following its reopening focussed on the renovation of the mine for its subsequent operation, including drainage of the mine, pumping and treating the water at the water treatment plant built by the company.
In addition, work was carried out inside the mine, preparing new galleries and recovering the pithead and main access ramp. Today this ramp is used for service personnel and lorries and there is another ramp, the former slope, which is used for emergencies. Both ramps are connected to facilitate operations and possible evacuations, while also supplying clean air to the interior.
With respect to the adjacent facilities, the office building, already in existence, was renovated, together with the assembly workshop, and a powder magazine was built on the surface.
In addition, the mining operation is yet another example of how the reopening of new projects contributes to the environmental restoration of the mining past. With the reopening of the mine, the company has taken on the environmental recovery of the former dumps in zones used for mining in the past.
The ore processing plant has three lines able to process more than 4.5 million tonnes of polymetallic and copper ore per year.