EMED Mining has announced that the Andalucían government has confirmed transfer of the mining rights for the Rio Tinto copper project, owned by its Spanish subsidiary EMED Tartessus.
Located in the Iberian pyrite belt, 65km north-west of Seville, Spain, the open-pit mine has ore reserves totaling 606,000t of contained copper and a large processing facility.
Due to low copper prices of less than $1/lb, mining at the open pit mine and processing facility ceased in 2001, and since then it had been on care and maintenance.
The company, which also has projects in Cyprus and Slovakia, said the announcement confirms its authorisation over the mining rights and clears the way to operate the Rio Tinto Copper mine.
EMED Mining CEO Isaac Querub said following the confirmation, the project now enters an important stage where the company can trigger site works, complying with all requirements and preparing for copper production.
"This is a highly significant achievement, which clears the way forward for the development of the Rio Tinto copper project," Querub added.
As of January, EMED has spent $50m on the Rio Tinto mine and around 100 people were working on site.
The mine life, according to the company, can be extended beyond the current expected 14 years, and upon commencement of operations, it had potential for higher grades.
Having operated continuously from 1873 until 2001, the mine has produced 1.7 million tonnes of copper, 3.3 million ounces of gold and 54 million ounces of silver.