According to a statement issued by the municipality, Sérgio Costa (Movement for Guarda), "guarantees that the whole process will have to be well evaluated, to assess if the prospection and research will not bring 'more disadvantages than advantages to the territory' and gives as an example the exploration of uranium, radium and tungsten in the region, in the 60s and 70s of the 20th century, 'which cost more than 5 million euros to the Portuguese State for environmental remediation works, in the last years'".
According to the mayor of Guarda, quoted in the note, "the areas included for the prospection still clash, namely with territories of the UNESCO World Geopark Star that hopes to see the United Nations' seal of approval reaffirmed. Or, again, the Miradouro Hidrográfico das três bacias (lookout point), in Vale de Estrela, a place that marks the point of convergence of the hydrographic basins of the biggest rivers crossing Portuguese territory: Douro, Mondego and Tagus".
"There are still two other areas in question and of obvious archaeological interest, such as Castro do Tintinolho, in Guarda, or Cabeço das Fráguas, in Benespera," it adds.
According to the municipality of the country's highest city, "the areas indicated by the referred Government Study, also put at risk important agricultural and natural areas that may 'come to compromise the tourist and economic development of the territory of the municipality of Guarda'".
The municipality states that the environmental assessment study that the Ministry of Environment and Climate Action released on Wednesday "gives an account of the feasibility of lithium prospection in six regions of Portugal, five of these areas being in the district of Guarda and four of them in the territory" of the county.
"The Guarda City Hall was right when it issued an unfavourable opinion to the programme initially proposed for prospection and research, given that the publication of the results of that same Government study in the territories in the county of Guarda, of which we only had knowledge through the media, confirmed the reduction to half of the area of prospection of our county compared to what was planned", says the president Sérgio Costa.
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 exploration of this mineral in six areas.
The SEA made the areas called "SEIXOSO-VIEIROS", which covers the municipalities of Fafe, Celorico de Basto, Guimarães, Felgueiras, Amarante and Mondim de Basto, "MASSUEIME", which reaches the municipalities of Almeida, Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo, Pinhel, Trancoso and Meda, "GUARDA-MANGUALDE C (Blocks N and S)", which includes Belmonte, Covilhã Fundão and Guarda, "GUARDA-MANGUALDE E", comprising Almeida, Belmonte, Guarda and Sabugal, "GUARDA-MANGUALDE W", including Mangualde, Gouveia, Seia, Penalva do Castelo, Fornos de Algodres and Celorico da Beira, and "GUARDA-MANGUALDE NW", comprising the municipalities of Viseu, Satão, Penalva do Castelo, Mangualde, Seia and Nelas.