Barruecopardo is a village and municipality in the province of Salamanca, western Spain, part of the autonomous community of Castilla-Leon. It has a population of 504 people and lies 730 metres (2,400 ft) above sea level. The Barruecopardo mine, in the surroudings, is an open-pit mining that reveals the granitic facies. This mine are a clear example of a phylonian quartz deposit with wolframite and scheelite. These minerals are observable both on the mined surface and in the waste rock dumps resulting from intensive mining activities.
The town of Barruecopardo gets its name exactly from the spectacular orography of the Arribes del Duero and its impressive granite outcrops. This important mine have been reopened in 2015.
A museum of Mineralogy
The town council of Barruecopardo, with the help of many neighbours, has opened a small museum offering an overview of the world of mineralogy. The mineral collection is exhibited in three rooms and in the outdoor patio. It is accompanied by an audiovisual presentation, exhibition panels, tools and other objects related to mining.
Reopening of Barruecopardo Mines
In 2015, soon after the administrative authorisation and the environmental impact declaration period, works to reopen the Barruecopardo mines began. In total, it was expected to produce 1,850 tonnes of wolfram per year, a figure that represents 12 percent of the world production of this mineral, whose market is led by China, with more than 75 percent of extraction.
In this way, the community recovered "its mining history", as it was one of its main economic engines, as the previous mine closed in 1982.
The extraction of this mineral, which is "strategic" for Europe, due to its "multiple applications" and because it is scarce, is crucial.
The mining and concentrating activities at Barruecopardo have been designed in a way that minimizes any environmental impact they may cause, while ensuring a high mineral recovery: The extraction and concentration of tungsten from the rock is simple and low cost adopting the following four stages.