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Lusa - Business News - Portugal: Barroso lithium mine environmental impact study open to public scrutiny

Boticas, Vila Real, April 16, 2021 (Lusa) - The Portuguese Environment Agency (APA) has deemed the Environmental Impact Study (EIA) for the Mina do Barroso lithium mining project in Boticas to be in compliance and will go out for public consultation, the company said on Friday.
"The EIA, now declared compliant, details how mining will be responsible, sustainable and with reduced impact, as well as the social, environmental, economic and demographic benefits that the project will bring to the region and Portugal," Savannah, the company that owns the project, said in a statement.
In response to questions from Lusa, Savannah said that the EIA for Mina do Barroso, "meets the requirements of the APA to be placed in public consultation," and that this will be the next step in the process.
"In a few days the APA will put the EIA on public consultation".
Mina do Barroso is a project of Savannah Lithium, Lda, a subsidiary of Savannah Resources Plc, a company listed on the London AIM (London Stock Exchange) focused on prospecting and developing mining assets in several countries around the world.
The project planned for Boticas is being contested by local residents who created the United in Defence of Covas do Barroso Association (UDCB) to fight against the mine.
As for the public consultation, the company clarifies in the statement that "the procedure aims to collect opinions, suggestions and other contributions from all stakeholders in the Barroso Mine Project, subject to Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)."
"It is up to the EIA authority to define the format and methodology for public consultation," the company said.
During this period, all interested parties may learn about and express their opinion on what is planned and how the impacts will be eliminated or mitigated in the various phases of the project, such as construction, operation, environmental rehabilitation and the closure of the operation.
According to Savannah, the "EIA details all aspects of the exploration and respective intervention plans, namely those related to the preservation and recovery of the region's fauna and flora.
Mina do Barroso "presents itself as an example of sustainability and innovation in the Portuguese mining sector, where everything was studied in depth and is designed with the utmost rigour, from water management to energy use", it adds.
Savannah also reveals the intention that the energy used at the Barroso Mine will come from renewable sources and at the end of the operation the land will be fully recovered and handed over to the respective Parish Councils, to be used for the benefit of the local communities.
"The project foresees an investment of more than 15 million euros in measures to eliminate or reduce potential social and environmental impacts. The EIA includes the Benefit Sharing Plan and the Good Neighbourhood Plan, which will bring significant added value to local communities".
Savannah's CEO, David Archer, sees the EIA compliance statement as "relevant" and stresses that "the company is committed to developing and operating the project in a responsible and sustainable way.
Savannah is already preparing a series of meetings with local residents so that this information is shared in a timely manner and it can clarify in a clear and transparent manner how it plans to develop the project, as defined in the documents that will soon be made public.
A study released in May 2020 by the company and conducted by the University of Minho estimates the creation of "about 800 jobs (200 direct and 400 to 600 indirect) during the operation phase."
The mining project envisages an investment "of 110 million euros".

Agency : LUSA

Date : 2021-04-17 10:08:52


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