The Government of Navarra approves the plan for the construction of the magnesite mine in the middle area of the Baztan
  • On Wednesday the Government of Navarra approved the project as a supramunicipal impact plan (PSIS), so Magnesitas Navarras, S.A. will be able to exploit the mine it intends to open in Erdiz for 25 years.
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According to the operator Magnesitas, in the Erdiz area there are 11.8 million tonnes of magnesite ore, of which 600,000 tonnes would be obtained annually. They anticipate that they will invest EUR 18 million and create 39 jobs. With this approval as UGEP, the infrastructure can be streamlined in order to carry out the operation, according to the Foral Government, among others, in various adaptations to be carried out on the road NA-1740.

The project has been underway since 2001, but for one reason or another it has been delayed. Another project of the same company was rejected in 2015 by the Spanish Supreme Court in Zilbeti, quite close to Erdiz. Erdiz is an important livestock area where, according to various sources, 15% of the livestock farm in Navarra is concentrated.

Over the past twenty years, the project has been strongly opposed in Baztan, as the popular platform Erdiz Bizirik points out, “because it involves ecological destruction and destroys native livestock”. On this platform, 80 professional farmers bring the cattle to Erdiz, “and as an agricultural chain, the loss of these jobs will also affect the other sectors. Our land and heritage are used to enrich the external multinationals,” the platform says.

“To show that citizens do not support the project,” says Erdiz that they have prepared a list of allegations and that they call to sign most of the population possible. They state that the project is contrary to the opinion of the Baztans and as proof of this they indicate that in the last municipal elections, eight out of ten citizens voted in favour of the parties.