"This decision recognises the vast and valuable heritage of our county and all the work that this municipality has done in the sustainable development of the territory and protection of biodiversity and the environment," said to Lusa news agency, the president of this municipality in the Castelo Branco district, Armindo Jacinto.
The Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) in eight areas with potential for the existence of lithium concluded by excluding Arga and Segura, and enabled the research and prospection of that mineral in six areas.
Besides Arga, in the municipality of Caminha, the SEA conclusion also excluded the area identified by the designation Segura, in Castelo Branco, because it is "planned to redefine the boundaries of the Special Protection Area of the International Tagus".
"The environmental restrictions [in those two locations] inhibit the prospection and consequent exploration, thus remaining outside the object of the future tender," sustains a note from MAAC.
The mayor of Idanha-a-Nova welcomes the government's decision to remove the area known as Segura, which covered five parishes of the municipality of Idanha-a-Nova, from the tender for the award of rights to prospect for and explore for lithium in Portugal.
The area in question also overlapped, in its entirety, with the UNESCO Naturtejo World Geopark and the Tejo/Tajo International Biosphere Reserve, which are part of the National System of Classified Areas, by international recognition (UNESCO).
The entire municipality of Idanha-a-Nova is also part of the International Network of Ecoregions, which assumes a set of commitments in the field of environmental sustainability.
"Having said this, we did not expect another decision from a Government with sensitivity to environmental issues. This decision recognises the vast and valuable heritage of our municipality and all the work that this council has done in the sustainable development of the territory and the protection of biodiversity and the environment", concludes Armindo Jacinto.