“Goal was to contribute to pacification – but has not been well understood”
Further strife in Montalegre as Lusorecursos Portugal Lithium – the company seeking to mine in the area – has pulled out of recently signed contracts with local associations, telling Rádio Montalegre their goal was “to contribute to pacification, a fact that was not very well understood by the community, and in this sense we have cancelled what had been made possible”
Anti-mining groups have pasted the statement from Lusorecursos over social media, suggesting this is part of a strategy of ‘divide and rule’.
The statement, signed by Lusorecursos Portugal Lithium director Ricardo Pinheiro, says that “Lusorecursos believes it is necessary to ensure that local entities consider the best option for the concrete application of financial compensation for the concession.
“In order to ensure that local entities have the opportunity to consider the way they see fit, Lusorecursos withdraws from the protocol signed on June 16, 2023, unilaterally undertaking to grant the aforementioned benefits aimed at the sustained development of the territory, within the maximum allowed by law”.
Online commentary has been scathing, with the “No to mines movement of Montalegre” telling its followers to ‘wake up!’, adding “no mining!”
This particular concession has been rife with controversy. There was even a moment when it looked like the whole concession would be scrapped.
Right now there is a public consultation exercise over the location of the refinery, which potentially has been seen as a further threat to the survival of the Iberian Wolf.
A spokesperson for Lusorecursos has said the company expects at least another year of bureaucracy before getting the full green light to start moving forwards.
“These things always take time”, he told the Resident – suggesting political pressures were more behind the decision to pull out of local agreements. “Naturally, the political parties that are against this plan want to avoid that people get involved with the company”, he said.
Source: Portugal resident