Lithium reserves in country, Spain a ‘development opportunity’

  • Lusa
  • 1 October 2021

The development of border regions is a condition for overcoming the demographic challenge and valuing the interior, explained António Costa.

Prime Minister António Costa said Friday that the existence of lithium reserves in border regions, both on the Portuguese and Spanish sides, can be a “development opportunity”.

“The existence of lithium reserves in these regions, on either side of the border, may be an opportunity for the integrated development of a new industrial sector in the area of energy storage, based on the knowledge produced at the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory in Braga and now also at the Research Centre on Energy Storage in Cáceres [Spain],” he said at the close of the La Toja Forum in Galicia, Spain.

The development of border regions is a condition for overcoming the demographic challenge and valuing the interior, understood Costa who had, in the front row, his Spanish counterpart, Pedro Sánchez.

The Prime Minister stressed that these territories need “anchor projects” to rescue them from the historical legacy of impoverishment.

“Throughout Europe, the most developed regions are the border regions, the exception in Europe is, unfortunately, Portugal’s eastern land border and Spain’s western border”.

Aligned with Costa, Pedro Sánchez said that it was fundamental that the development of batteries be installed in the Iberian Peninsula, highlighting the fact that both countries have lithium reserves.

The Spanish Prime Minister recalled that in July, Spain approved the first strategic project for electric vehicles, identifying the need to create synergies with Portugal.

This type of project will benefit sustainable mobility on the Iberian Peninsula and in Europe, he stressed.

Pedro Sánchez also revealed that this issue will be discussed at the next Portuguese-Spanish summit, to be held on 28 October in Trujillo, Spain.

The Directorate-General for Energy and Geology on Tuesday placed on public consultation the preliminary environmental assessment report for the Lithium Prospecting and Exploration Programme for the eight potential areas for launching a tender procedure.

The consultation period is available until November 10.

The preliminary environmental assessment report analysed eight areas in the North and Centre of the country: Arga (Viana do Castelo), Seixoso-Vieiros (Braga, Porto and Vila Real), Massueime (Guarda), Guarda – Mangualde (four areas spread over Guarda, Viseu, Castelo Branco and Coimbra) and Segura (Castelo Branco).

The La Toja Forum, which began on Wednesday and closed today, brought together politicians, thinkers and businesspeople and the theme of this 2021 edition was “An Opportunity to Relaunch the Atlantic Link”.