Spain’s Mining Opportunities Lure Foreign Investors


Spain’s Mining Opportunities Lure Foreign Investors

Spain’s wealth of minerals is attracting interest and investment from foreign mining firms, and some are focusing on the Iberian Peninsula to maximise demand for certain metals.

Plymouth Minerals is confident the Morille tungsten mining project in southwest Spain will help it become a mid-tier player in the tungsten market. Prompted by a predicted shortage of the metal, the Australian company bought a majority stake in the project from Aurum Mining last month. The Morille mine camp is located in a major tungsten-producing region and complements other exploration projects on Plymouth’s radar.

Ireland’s Ormonde Mining is also exploiting Spain’s tungsten potential. Once at full production, its Barruecopardo project will deliver about 12 per cent of the world’s current non-Chinese tungsten concentrate supply.


The global slump in commodity prices in the mid-1980s battered Spain’s mineral mining industry. A top global producer of slate and strontium, it was also the European Community’s sole producer of mercury, natural sodium sulphate and tantalite, and it mined around 9 per cent of all EC copper, 65 per cent of its gold and 38 per cent of its iron ore and tungsten.

But the booming activity of the 1970s and 1980s came to a halt when world prices sunk and many mines closed. Mineral resources were not depleted, however, and foreign mining experts are taking advantage of Spain’s bounty.

In 2012, Canada’s Solid Resources acquired 62 concessions for iron ore Cehegin mining project in Murcia in southeast Spain, beating rivals like Swiss company Glencore Xstrata to the post. But last month, the Swiss mining giant acquired 20 per cent of the project, agreeing to buy all future production in an exclusive deal.

Spain’s potential for mining graphite, the mineral required to make the so-called “miracle material” graphene, is also on foreign investors‘ sight.


The Aguas Tenidas mine in southwest Spain is Trafigura Mining Group’s flagship operation and a cornerstone of the Canadian firm’s growth strategy. Aguas Tenidas is a 2.2-million-tonne-per-year underground mine and concentrator producing copper, zinc and lead concentrates as well as silver. Trafigura plans to invest over 300 million euros in the next two years, building a new treatment plant which is expected to double production and extend the life of the mine.

Another big name in Spain’s copper production is Atlantic Copper. A subsidiary of Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. – one of the world’s largest copper and gold producers – Atlantic Copper operates a foundry and refinery in Huelva. The company is advised by Spanish law firm Argali Abogados and has a notable presence in Latin America, especially in Peru and Chile.

For more information on Spain’s mining industry, contact corporate law firm Argali Abogados.


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