Savannah Resources submits revised lithium mining plan for Boticas

  • Lusa
  • 16 March 2023

The company said in early July 2022 that it was notified by the APA to reformulate the project, before the DIA was issued.

Savannah Resources announced on Thursday that it has submitted a revised environmental report and mining plan for the lithium project in Boticas, requested by the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA), hoping to obtain an  environmental license in 2024.

Savannah Resources, the company that wants to explore the lithium mine in Covas do Barroso, municipality of Boticas, district of Vila Real, said that after submission of the documents, the deadline for issuing the Environmental Impact Statement (EID) is “May 31, 2023” and that it expects the project to obtain its environmental license in 2024.

The company said in early July 2022 that it was notified by the APA to reformulate the project, before the DIA was issued.

The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the Barroso mine was on public consultation between April and July 2021.

Dale Ferguson, Savannah’s chief executive officer (CEO), said today, quoted in a statement, that the delivery of the revised documents (environmental report and mining plan) for the Barroso lithium project happened before the “original deadline”.

Following the submission of the updated EIA, the APA will have a maximum of 50 working days to carry out its analysis and issue its EIS decision, namely “May 31, 2023”.

“We believe that the revisions we have made address the key points that have been highlighted to us on how to find ways to further reduce the impact of the project on the environment and local people, while creating socio-economic benefits that can be shared locally and nationally,” he pointed out.

Dale Ferguson also said he hoped the environmental report and associated documents would be made public by the APA, which, along with the additional details provided by Savannah, will allow ‘stakeholders’ the opportunity to view and understand the project and the proposed changes.

“Today we have reached an important milestone for Savannah and I expect the coming months to be a defining period for the company and for Portugal as we play our part in developing a direct lithium value chain in Europe,” he stressed.

The company said that after the documents are published by the APA, it will also make public “further details of the design review, operation and follow-up proposals around sharing the socio-economic benefits of the project.”

It also mentioned that it “has already initiated meetings with some local ‘stakeholder’ groups, and will look to continue these during the 50 working day assessment period that is now underway”.

And if the APA issues a favourable Environmental Impact Statement and the company accepts “the conditions set out in the decision,” Savannah said that “the environmental licensing process can then continue in parallel with the definitive feasibility study for the project.

The Barroso mine is located in an area in the parishes of Dornelas and Covas do Barroso and is planned to exploit lithium and other minerals by open-pit mining. The planned concession area is 593 hectares.