Leixões port ‘likely’ for Europe’s first lithium refinery

Leixões has been ‘chosen’ by the government as a possible site for Europe’s first lithium refinery.

Following on from heavy hints given late last year (click here), secretary of state for energetic transition João Galamba has been talking to Público, stressing that nothing is ‘certain’ yet, but Leixões would be a very good bet as it is ‘close to areas (in the north) where (lithium) extraction may take place, and a point which could receive lithium concentrate from other countries’.

Observador online adds that “Galamba believes that the local population will be surprised with the proposals, because, he gives as an example: there will be no sulphuric acid or other chemicals (involved), just the use of organic biodegradable material”.

The story follows a call recently by MPs for full disclosure on the government’s plans (click here) bearing in mind anxiety felt by local communities affected by mining concessions.

Galamba says the government is awaiting the results of an environmental impact study on the Barroso concesssion (Boticas) – to be conducted by mining company Savannah Resources – to see “where the impacts are” and then “have a serious discussion on the subject”. But in the meantime plans are to launch a public tender for a refinery “as soon as possible”.

Only a few weeks ago, environmental NGO Quercus appealed to the government to rethink its plans for lithium mining nationally, or face ‘environmental disaster’ (click here).

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