Rio Tinto is a river that originates in the southwestern parts of Spain. It is most well-known for the reddish discoloration of the water, which is due to mining activity.
The waters of the Rio Tinto flow for close to 100km (almost 62 miles). It is famously known as the “Red River” due to the tint of the water in the river. The tint in the water is due to the mining activities that were performed along the course of the river. For close to five thousand years, the river has been a dependable source of copper and bronze. The vigorous mining activities have contributed immensely to the red color in the water.
Rio Tinto is very unique among rivers. The acidic nature of the water possesses a very low pH level compared to other bodies of water. The river is also known to contain several minerals along its course including copper, bronze, silver, and gold. These were immensely exploited in the early years. It has also gained recent interests from the scientific world, especially due to the surprising presence of anaerobic bacteria.
The presence of high acidic levels in Rio Tinto water was often thought to be inhospitable to biological activity. However, the most recent discovery of bacterial activities in the waters proves otherwise. The presence of the bacteria known as extremophile anaerobic in the waters of Rio Tinto proves that all is not lost as it can still support some forms of life.
The nature of the Rio Tinto interests some visitors as it may possess similar characteristics to that of the planet Mars and Jupiter. There is a railway train which was mostly constructed in the 19th century to assist in the transportation of minerals from the mining ores. The railway line has been a major transport boost to tourist activities.
The main threat facing Rio Tinto is the mining activities that have been ongoing. Although most of the mining activities were closed, the EMED Company has been trying to reopen the mine due to low production of copper, and this is deemed to pose environmental threats if the activity commences.
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