LIFE-ECORESTCLAY - Holistic Ecological Restoration of a mining area in Tarragona (Spain) with seven clay Quarries

LIFE12 BIO/ES/000926

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Francisco GONZÁLEZ MARTÍN CONSUEGRA
Tel: 34(91)3779454
Fax: +34(91)3779529
Email: francisco.gonzalezmartin@cemex.com

Project description:


According to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (an international study on the state of the Earth’s ecosystems, published in 2005), European ecosystems have been fragmented by human activities at a greater rate than those of any other continent. Ecosystems can play a vital role in mitigating climate change, but the capacity of ecosystems and species to respond to the challenges posed by climate change will largely depend on the degree to which they are protected and the extent to which they can be restored.

Open-pit mining has a particularly negative impact on the environment, often damaging ecosystems beyond repair.


The objective of this project, a follow-up to the ‘EcoQuarry’ LIFE project, is to develop a management protocol for mining areas, using innovative solutions for environmental protection. It will promote the reconstruction of ecosystems on the basis of reconstructing landforms that mimic the ‘natural’ conditions of the surroundings, thereby helping to boost biodiversity in the restored lands.

The specific aims are to:

  • Design, build and monitor reconstructed landforms, which replicate the natural landscapes surrounding mining pits, using the GeoFluv method. This method creates a new hydrologic network that is functionally and aesthetically integrated into the existing system of wetlands (which already occupy the bottom of the pits);
  • Create a soil mosaic by re-using the leftovers of the mining operation, which will reproduce the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of the natural soils of the surrounding environment;
  • Establish vegetal elements that allow for the development of communities and habitats of surrounding vegetation, including the highest possible number of native species;
  • Promote an increase in the number and variety of bird populations in the ‘minescapes’ and their surroundings, paying special attention to those species included in the Birds Directive;
  • Provide an environmental solution to an existing problem of severe flash flooding at the project site;
  • Promote greater specialisation and awareness among the technicians and workers involved.

Expected results: The main result will be the development of know-how, as it is expected that this approach to mining restoration will result in a paradigm shift in the way that mining reclamation is planned and executed.

By creating highly diverse ecosystems and landscapes from formerly degraded lands, the project will boost the biodiversity of the area concerned. It will also have a high demonstration value, showing that land-transforming activities (such as mining) is compatible with the maintenance (and even improvement) of ecosystem services.



Environmental issues addressed:


Habitats - Rocky and Caves
Industry-Production - Mining - Quarrying


restoration measure‚  quarry‚  site rehabilitation

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator CEMEX España Operaciones S.L.U.
Type of organisation Large enterprise
Description CEMEX provides global solutions for the construction industry. With a presence in more than 50 countries around the world, it has a production capacity of 96 million tonnes of cement per year.
Partners Universitat de Barcelona, Spain Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain Universidad de Zaragoza, Spain


Project reference LIFE12 BIO/ES/000926
Duration 15-SEP-2013 to 31-MAR -2020
Total budget 1,793,169.00 €
EU contribution 810,773.00 €
Project location Cataluña(España)


Read more:

Project web site Project's website


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version