By Jacqueline Fanchini
A STORM of protest has greeted a plan to turn 250,000 hectares of virgin land into quarries or mines.
The mayor of Alhaurin de la Torre insists the Junta could be about to commit ‘serious crimes’ if it authorizes the projects.
Now his town hall has been joined by two local parties Electores and Equo, to launch a concerted plan to fight the schemes.
In total, 18,000 hectares of Malaga are in danger of being exploited for mining interests, including a huge chunk of the Sierra de Mijas.
It comes after Junta president Susana Diaz called for a radical loosening of the law, which would allow for 367 new quarries and mines to be dug around Andalucia.
While the majority are in Huelva, some are in the Sierra de Mijas, despite the area being slated as becoming a natural park and a vital green corridor for Malaga province.
“Those responsible at the Junta could commit serious crimes if they authorize new quarries. It is scandalous,” said Joaquin Vilanova, mayor of Alhaurin de la Torre.
Town hall spokesman Juan Mancebo added: “This would be serious ecological damage and more mining poses a clear risk to people’s health”.
However, the Junta sees growth in the mining sector as a vital way to bring investment into Andalucia and create jobs.
Mancebo does not agree: “The proposal is typical of a growth model based on unlimited exploitation of resources, which doesn’t take into account the consequences on health, safety and the environment.”