Savannah Resources PLC (LON:SAV) has updated on the progress of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) for its Mina do Barroso lithium project in Portugal, saying the country’s environment agency has said the EIA conforms with its content requirements.
The company said achieving conformity was a “major milestone” on its path to production at the site, adding that the EIA will now progress to the next stages of the approval process, which includes a public consultation and a detailed review by the evaluation committee of the Portuguese environmental regulator, Agência Portuguesa do Ambiente (APA).
Savannah said the project’s design will involve the investment of over €15mln of initial capital costs into measures to either eliminate or reduce potential social and environmental impacts, adding that it also has the potential to contribute over €1.2bn to Portuguese gross national product over the life of the operation.
“We are delighted with APA’s conclusion that the EIA for Mina do Barroso is in conformity with its content requirements. The EIA includes comprehensive proposals for our Community Benefit Sharing Plan and Good Neighbour Commitment as well as detailed plans for how Savannah will sustainably manage energy, water and material output at the mine. The objective of ‘Green and Smart Mining’ has always been a priority for Savannah in developing Mina do Barroso, and we now look forward to discussing the details of these community-focused plans along with the technical and environmental features of the Project’s development, operation and rehabilitation, with all stakeholders as part of the ongoing EIA approval process”, Savannah’s chief executive David Archer said in a statement.
“We expect Mina do Barroso to provide Europe with a strategically important local, long term and secure source of lithium raw materials. In September 2020, lithium was added to the European Commission’s list of critical raw materials reflecting both the importance of lithium battery technology in meeting the region’s long term climate goals, and the threat to raw material supply availability to the EU due to increased demand globally.
“Savannah is committed to developing and operating the Mina do Barroso Project in a responsible way while minimising the Project’s impact on the local environment and maximising the opportunity it offers to stakeholders. The Project is a vital part of the lithium battery value chain that will not only bring economic growth to the Iberian Peninsula, but also significant environmental benefits through a reduction in CO2 emissions driven by the electric vehicle revolution in addition to vastly improved living conditions for millions of Europeans via reductions in harmful air pollution”, he added.
Shares in Savannah rose 4.2% to 5.5p in lunchtime trading on Friday.