Tapia de Casariego is a beautiful unspoilt area in Asturias, northern Spain – home to the biggest untapped reserves of gold in Europe.

It is estimated there are 300 tons of gold in Tapia de Casariego, being amongst the regions of Asturias, with an estimated 480 mini mining operations having taken place, since the Romans first worked the area.

It is estimated that since those days of tons of gold being removed, today it is deemed 700 tons remain.

To mine the area it would end with the town of Tapia de Casariego being upended.

Tapia de Casariego gold deposits are the biggest in Europe – with the 300 tons worth billions of euros.

Spain is a land rich in metals, something that the Romans verified centuries ago by doing their own excavations 2,000 years ago.

During the time in which the Romans lived in the area, the Médulas in León was the most exploited mine, also having worked Salave, in Tapia, where the mobilisation of the land caused them to change part of the land after, to extract around 7,000 kilos of gold, thus being the origin of the Lagunas de Salave.

Since the last century, attempts have been made to exploit the mine on several occasions.

Environmental organisations are against starting the excavations, as are a plethora of residents of the area.

If excavations begin it will cause environmental deterioration and quality of life, with fears many could end up being expropriated of their homes.

Caption: Salave mine, Tapia de Casariego: largest unexploited mine in Europe.