From August 14 to 18, a camp will take place in Covas do Barroso, in the north of Portugal, at the village where the mining company Savannah Resources is planning to build an open-air lithium mine of 593 hectars. This is the first project for an open-air lithium mine in Portugal that is getting close to have final approval. The period for public participation about the environmental impact assessment presented by the company finished 10 days ago, and the final decision is supposed to be announced by the Portuguese Agency for the Environment sometime during the next three months.
On 2018, the Portuguese government made 10% of the territory available for mining companies to survey and search for lithium, and since then several companies have presented projects in different regions. This being the first of these mining projects coming close to approval, it is especially important to resist it, so that people will be in a better position to resist the whole of these projects that ultimately would destroy and contaminate most of the land and water in the center and north of Portugal, where the lithium is located.
Adding to this, the Cicloficina do Porto is calling for a 4 days bike-tour against mines, heading up to the camp. The 100km-long ride will depart on August 10th from Livradio, pass by Amarante (10) and Celorico de Bastos (12) and will arrive in Covas do Barroso the day before the camp starts.
Call for the Camp in Defense of Barroso
No to Mines, Yes to Life!
We are sharing a map of the projects and areas for survey, as well as the call made by the people of Covas do Barroso inviting everyone to this camp.
The people of Barroso are fighting to defend the territory and their way of life against the threat of mining. Since we realized that the company Savannah Resources wants to build a large open-pit mine here, we have organized and mobilized ourselves to face it. We are increasingly alert, committed and aware that we have to stop this project of destruction.
The Savannah mine is the most advanced lithium mineral extraction project in Portuguese territory. It is the first of several mines that the Portuguese government intends to develop, some here in the Barroso region, but also in other parts of the country. Soon, if the Portuguese Agency for the Environment issues a favorable opinion on the development of the project, regardless of the negative impacts it will bring, it will open the doors to the destruction of various territories.
We are in an unequal fight and we know it. At times, we feel powerless in the face of political and economic power and we feel that our voice is being silenced and does not have the strength to make itself heard. But we believe that, through solidarity and mutual support, we can counteract this feeling. Join your voice to ours until our screaming defeats the power that insists on not hearing us.
Savannah Resources’ headquarters are in the UK and it is listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM), a submarket of the London Stock Exchange for small businesses. It has privileged links with interest groups in the European Union and the Portuguese government, and is part of the European Alliance for Batteries, a lobby for the automotive industry within the European Commission. At the other mine it intends to develop, in Mozambique, Savannah has partnered with Rio Tinto, a mining company responsible for several environmental and social attacks.
Despite being presented as part of the solution for sustainable mobility in the European scope, Savannah Mine continues an extractive logic, which strips us of our land, puts livelihoods at risk, worsens the quality of life and worsens even more the problem of depopulation that we face. It also threatens the classification of World Agricultural Heritage that makes us so proud as a Barrosão people. And, as if that wasn’t enough, it still endangers the populations that live on the banks of the Beça, Tâmega and Douro rivers.
We need to act, and we need to do it together! People from Barroso, people from other threatened territories, in Portugal and in the world, and all the people who want to show solidarity with this fight. We invite you to camp in Covas do Barroso, between 14 and 18 of August 2021. We camp to make known our struggle and our way of life, so that we can share and learn from the experiences of other places. So that together we can organize future actions. Join us!