The Barranco de Los Colmenarejos above Maro has a fine collection of abandoned mining equipment and vehicles just perfect for being sold as scrap.
This quarry lies just over a kilometre north of the Nerja Caves in what is today a Parque Natural de Sierras Tejeda, Almijara y Alhama.
Around 20 vehicles, including bulldozers, excavators and large dumper trucks, as well as large pieces of mining machinery, have been lying there for about 20 years… and they shouldn’t be there.
The owner of the mining company, Orlando Rodríguez, whose operating licence expired, is at present negotiating with the Nerja Town Hall to arrive at a solution to get the abandoned equipment out of there. It has no value other than for scrap, worth about 40,000 euros. The trouble is that it would cost about 7,000 euros, according to Sr. Rodríguez, to haul it out of there.
It was over a score of years ago that the Junta de Andalucía was setting up the said natural park with the incompatible presence of an open mine or quarry. The Town Hall annulled the operating licence but instead of making sure that the area was cleaned up, decided to use it as an illegal dump under the then PP Mayor, José Alberto Armijo.
Now Sr. Armijo, 20 years later, is back in the Mayor’s office but he is also up before the judge after being taken to court by ecologist associations. Also standing accused are the Councillor for Urban Development, Nieves Atencia (PP), together with seven local building companies.
If the Mayor and councillor are found guilty, they are looking at a recommendation of a 2-year imprisonment and 18 months banned from holding office. The Town Hall also has to find just under 11,000 euros for public liability in the case of a guilty sentence.
“We are getting together the documents required of us by the Junta and hope to receive the green light during the first quarter of next year; that’s if all goes well,” explained the quarry owner. The Councillor for the Environment expressed his firm intention to have the machinery removed and put the area back to its original natural beauty.
(News: Maro, Nerja, Axarquia, Costa del Sol, Malaga, Andalucia – Photo: E. Cabezas)