The Deputy Secretary of State and Energy, João Galamba, states that the working group will identify the actions to be pursued with a view to preparing the National Strategy for Geological Resources.

The task of the working group is to identify, in particular, the critical and strategic mineral deposits, with their respective territorial incidence, and to systematise the available knowledge on geological resources, “collecting all available information” on the activities of development and exploitation of mineral deposits, with their respective identification, characterisation and territorial incidence.

The group is made up of representatives from DGEG - Directorate-General for Energy and Geology, which coordinates, LNEG - National Laboratory for Energy and Geology, EDM - Mining Development Company, ACPMR - Cluster Portugal Mineral Resources Association, ASSIMAGRA - Mineral Resources of Portugal, ANIET - National Association of Extractive and Manufacturing Industry and APG - Portuguese Association of Geologists.

In October 2020, the Council of Ministers approved the regulation of the law of bases for the use of geological resources, with regard to mineral deposits, a diploma that, at the time, the Ministry of Environment defended to contain “more demanding standards of environmental sustainability ”, a sharing of economic benefits with the populations and more powers to the municipalities.

However, the new law has generated opposition from civic groups, who argue that municipalities and populations should be able to retain the right to decide the best development strategy for the territory where they live, and be able to safeguard water and protected areas.

Earlier this month, a demonstration to protest against the wolfram and lithium mining projects planned for Montalegre and Boticas, in the district of Vila Real took place.

The Barroso Mine is located in an area of the parishes of Dornelas and Covas do Barroso, and the project is being promoted by the company Savannah Lithium, Lda., which provides for open-pit exploration for lithium and other minerals. The planned concession area is 593 hectares.