Spanish potash company Highfield Resources Ltd (ASX:HFR) has been featured in a Navarran newspaper with the development of its potash projects, covering 550 square kilometres, in the potash and halite producing Ebro Basin in the Sanguesa area, Navarre Province in northern Spain.
"A mine with 40 years of life generates great employment prospects for the region of Sangüesa."
The local Navarran Government is in favour of this project as it supports the economy, while the Muga project is still pending a few approvals from the Government.
Muga straddles the border of Navarra and Aragón.
The mine will have sufficient resources to be mined for at least 40 years with a long term positive impact expected on the region’s economy with 800 direct jobs to be created.
The Mayors of the local Town Halls (local governments) have stated that they value the opened participatory process Highfield has with the locals as positive.
Highfield has not yet commenced a recruitment process but already has received applications from upwards of 3,000 candidates.
Over 3,500+ new direct and indirect jobs are estimated to be created in total from development of Muga.
The Mayor of Sangüesa Angel Navallas said in the article that the Muga mine will ensure both employment and offer a positive outlook for the region.
According to Navallas, the company has acted transparently, holding regular meetings with the corporation, which have become monthly meetings.
The Mayor of Sangüesa has also indicated he appreciates the participative process launched by the company.
While Jorge Chocarro, responsible for Institutional Relations of the company, "until the Environment Ministry finalises the environmental impact statement process and until we have the three operating permits (Spain, Navarra and Aragon), it is early to start the selection process.
Chocarro advocates in favour of an "opened and participatory process and a public debate to avoid the spread of misleading messages."
He said that he understands that the mine generates expectations, "because it is not just any company, it is the implementation that may transform the region."
The Mayor of Sangüesa, Angel Navallas said he felt reassured because, "if the European environmental legislation is demanding, the one of Navarre is even more demanding."
In fact, Navallas says he opened to a process of information so that everyone knows the project and can express their opinions.
Navallas said he believes this is an opportunity for the region. "We have always said that this is a depressed area.
"We cannot always choose what kind of industry arrives. However, we believe it is time to promote a new development in the zone".
While the Mayor of Javier, Emilio Echegoyen said Muga "means the ability to maintain our population, creating housing and revitalizing the urban core".
The vice president of Navarra and the Minister of Economy, Manu Ayerdi sees the project as being of interest for all of Navarra. Ayerdi values the participation of local agents and their "commitment" to the environment. The company is trying to get it right, he said.
He said it is a large and complicated project, with international investors, with a significant investment and a long term project.
"The government is assisting a project that looks interesting for Navarra," Ayerdi said, with the potential of creating wealth and employment.
"We want it to be a reference point and an innovative project from all points of view.
"The European legislation is the most demanding in the world."
Further, meetings with municipalities and residents of the area "are responses to the suggestions made by the ministry of environment to the company, requesting them to promote the participation of people," he said.
"The company has a legitimate vocation to seek profitability but it is also concerned about the compliance of local legislations, he said."
The main favourable economic impacts for the region of an increase in employment with 800 new jobs and production of potash at an industrial level will be favourably viewed.
Given the size of this project it is likely to receive a better consideration from the Department of the Environment and a better understanding from the population.
Ayerdi said that once Madrid approves the Environmental Impact Statement, "the governments of Navarra and Aragon have to authorize mining activities."
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