Castromil Mines, Castromil, Sobreira, Paredes, Porto District, Portugal
Old gold mines.
The beginning of the exploration of these mines date from the Roman period.
In the 90s of the 20th century some works were carried out to study the exploiting viability of the mines but, due to environmental issues, this project was cancelled.
Castromil is one of the gold mining areas in Portugal that has been abandoned since 1940. This area, which was first mined in Roman times, is located within a Hercynian granite body near the contact with Silurian metasediments. Gold is essentially disseminated along veins in the silicified granite, running NW–SE, related with a shear zone and frequently associated with sulphides (arsenopyrite and basically pyrite). In paragenetic terms, three stages of mineralization are considered: ferro-arseniferous (quartz + arsenopyrite I + pyrite I + pyrrhotite + bismuth), zinciferous (sphalerite + chalcopyrite), and remobilization (arsenopyrite II + galena + gold). Due to the lack of laws and environmental education, Castromil is today a gold mining heritage site where we can detect the consequences of an incautious exploration (tailings, wells and adits located in the old explored zone) and where a residential area is located. In order to characterize the actual state of the old mining area the trace metal contamination of soils and waters by mining activities was investigated. In the studied area 106 soil samples, 15 waters and 20 plants were sampled and analysed. The soil samples were analysed for 32 elements by ICP-AES. Waters were analysed by ionic chromatography and ICP-MS for major and trace elements. Plants were analysed for As, Fe and Pb by AAS. The results are discussed taking into account the risk-based standards for soils and groundwater's (target and intervention values) proposed by Swartjes (1999). The results show elevated concentration of As and Pb which were found in soils collected from agricultural areas. Foodstuff plants species collected in the Castromil agricultural area show high concentrations of As in the leaves (cabbage and lettuce) and in the tubers (potatoes). Groundwaters in the mining area contain high concentrations of As that exceeds the intervention values. The area must to be subject to a remediation process, considering the actual risks to humans and ecosystems and the risks due to contaminant migration (Eduardo Ferreira da Silva, 2004).
9 entries listed. 9 valid minerals.
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Eduardo Ferreira da Silva - Site-Specific Characterization of Castromil Brownfield Area Related to Gold Mining Activities, Environmental Geochemistry and Health, Springer, Mar 1, 2004.
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