Zinc production at Cartagena started with the formation of the Española del. Zinc company in 1956 to exploit the availability of local concentrates. In the early 2000s, Española incurred significant financial losses which led to the company filing for administration in early 2005. A recovery plan was proposed enabling production to be restarted but in 2008 the smelter was eventually closed. Slab zinc production capacity at time of closure was 48kt/a.