Portugal plans major expansion of lithium mining, despite environmental concerns

Tenders for exploiting lithium deposits at up to nine sites in northern Portugal could be issued by the end of March once a dedicated law to establish new environmental requirements is approved, Portuguese environment minister João Pedro Matos has announced.

The government is under pressure to allay concerns of municipalities and people in the areas affected about the environmental and landscape impact of the mining and processing of the mineral, a key component of modern batteries.

Portugal is the EU’s only current lithium producer and has Europe’s biggest reserves. The European Commision “is following with great interest the developments around lithium extraction and refining projects in Portugal”, a Commission spokesperson told ENDS. 

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