What do the El Valle gold mine in Asturias, the Las Cruces copper mine in Andalusia, the El Feixolín coal mine in León and the San Finx tungsten mine in Galicia have in common? All have been or are being prosecuted for various crimes, environmental or corruption offences, and are among the first cases documented by the Iberian Mining Observatory (MINOB), which has just launched the first version of its website.
However, these cases represent just the tip of the iceberg of hundreds of cases that have been reported for years and will now be documented and exposed as part of this environmental citizenship initiative launched by several environmental collectives with the support of the Ministry of Social Rights and Agenda 2030.
The MINOB portal compiles for the first time geo-referenced observations of the violations of social and environmental rights caused by the extractive industry throughout the peninsula, making public the existing evidence on each of them. In the coming months, the first 100 cases will be made public, including examples from Andalusia, Aragon, Asturias, Catalonia, Valencia, Extremadura and Galicia.
The intention is that this collaborative project can contribute to the inspection and control functions of public administrations, as well as to a better understanding of the impacts caused by mining by institutions, the media, social movements and affected local communities. In fact, the portal has a monitoring and early warning system to detect, map and report violations and bad practices, thus facilitating the exercise and defence of environmental rights and mitigating existing asymmetries between affected communities and the mining sector.