Valpaços town Council has expressed its opposition to the lithium project proposed for the municipality and called on landowners not to agree to negotiate the exploitation of minerals on their properties with the Fortescue company. The contract between Portugal Fortescue and the Directorate-General for Energy and Geology (DGEG) was signed in May to prospect and research for lithium, tin, tungsten, gold, silver, lead, zinc, copper and other mineral deposits and associated metals in the area known as Mariola, in the parish of Sonim and Barreiros (Valpaços), a project that will also extend to Chaves. The company is due to hold an information session tomorrow on the work to be carried out, answering questions and “providing clarification”. The council in a statement issued today says that it can “never” accept the destruction of the municipality’s forests, soils, environmental wealth and potential. “We will continue to show toughness and firmness in the defence of our values, and we will take the decision they make to the last consequences, resorting to all national and international bodies if necessary,” warned the municipality led by social democrat Amílcar Almeida. This far, the statement is getting very favourable responses.