"The economic value of the environment, landscape, beaches, riverbanks, villages and traditions is immeasurably higher and more perennial than the economic value that one or more lithium mines could bring to the county in the next 15 or 20 years", says the 31-page opinion submitted on the public participation platform.

The public consultation of the lithium PPP's preliminary environmental assessment report in eight potential areas for launching the tender procedure began in September. Initially, it ended on 10 November, but following disputes by local authorities, political parties and civic movements, the deadline was extended to 10 December.

Among the eight areas planned to be part of the international tender for the attribution of prospecting and research rights for lithium are 25 thousand hectares of the Arga area, in Serra d'Arga, which covers the municipalities of Viana do Castelo, Caminha, Vila Nova of Cerveira and Ponte de Lima.

Serra d'Arga is currently being classified as a Protected Landscape Area of ​​Regional Interest, in a joint initiative by those municipalities to guarantee the protection of that territory.

The municipality of Caminha, chaired by socialist Miguel Alves, defended that “the lithium PPP cannot fail to consider the targeted locations (...) the consequences of these acts in the concrete context, the consideration of the values ​​in question, whether environmental, economic and, above all, the irremediable impacts that massive mining would have on the habitat which has been balanced and cared for over the centuries.”