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Junta controversially permits mining in the protected Sierra de la Utrera

The rock formations are similar to those at El Torcal.
The rock formations are similar to those at El Torcal. / SUR
  • It is an area protected by the Culture department because of its unique heritage and geological and environmental value

Two departments within the Junta de Andalucía regional government are seemingly at loggerheads after the department for the Economy approved mining activity in the Sierra de la Utrera, an area protected by the Culture department because of its unique heritage and geological and environmental value.

The northern part of this area, known as Sierra de la Utrera II, has been put out to tender for mining activity despite the process for it to be declared an Asset of Cultural Interest (BIC, in Spanish) being under way.

The Sierra de la Utrera is very similar to El Torcal in Antequera, with its landscape shaped by the movement of water, offering undoubted scenic value. What's more, there are a number of significant archaelogical finds located in the area.

Casares town hall has labelled the decision as making “no sense” and have filed a formal complaint against the decision alongside the citizen's platform Protección de la Sierra de la Utrera. For their part, the platform laments “the lack of sensitivity shown by the economic department which is putting money above all else, without a care for the area's archaeological and natural value”.