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Portugal: Legality of Lusorecursos' lithium mining contract questioned; company comments included

"Portugal's government under fire over controversial lithium contract," 27 November 2019.

Portugal’s government came under fire from lawmakers...for signing a contract giving exploration rights for lithium mining to a three-day old firm...lawmakers from left to right voiced concerns about the legality of the contract signed in March between Lusorecursos Portugal Lithium and the government, and the environmental impact of the mines...

The hearing was called after an environmental group filed a lawsuit on Monday seeking to cancel the concession contract for rights to mining in the northern municipality of Montalegre. The group claimed the contract was illegal because the name on the contract is of another firm formed just three days prior, as opposed to Lusorecursos, the company which the government...granted prospecting rights to in 2012.

Lusorecursos said the law states that a company can be created until the day the contract is granted. Responding to lawmakers at the hearing, Environment Minister Joao Matos Fernandes said it was “crystal clear” the government complied with the law...The leader of Portugal’s People-Animals-Nature party Andre Silva criticized the move, calling it “yet another project by the Socialist Party destroying the environment in the name of economic growth”.

Protest movements have emerged across the country as requests for prospecting pile in from domestic and international companies, expressing concern about irreversible environmental damage such as soil pollution to destruction of the natural habitat of various endangered species...