The company involved, Savannah, stated that they welcome this decision, considering it “very positive for the development of the project”.

Savannah stressed that “this is the first time that a lithium project in Portugal has had a favourable EIS” and stated that, after this decision by the APA, it can “start the next phase of project development in terms of environmental licensing".

"As is natural in this type of approval, the EIS provides for the fulfilment of a set of conditions, measures and compensations that require Savannah's agreement", adding that "these conditions guarantee that the project will be developed in a responsible manner and that socio-economic benefits will be shared with all stakeholders”.

The executive director (CEO) of Savannah, Dale Ferguson, said that the positive decision of the APA “is an extremely important step, not only for the development of the Barroso lithium project, but also for the lithium raw materials industry in Portugal”.


"Given Savannah's commitment to responsible practices that minimise impact and share socio-economic benefits, the company also agreed to the conditions attached to the decision," he said.

Conditions that include, for example, “obtaining conditional approval to build the proposed road to link to Highway 24 (A24) and limiting the removal of vegetation from the project area in certain months of the year”.

Savannah also said that other conditions, such as the non-capture of water from the Covas River and the filling and landscape recovery of the ore extraction areas “reflect the plans and commitments that the company has already assumed in its presentations to the APA, as well as the community involvement program and the decarbonisation objectives”.

“APA's favourable decision marks the beginning of a new phase for the Barroso Lithium project, for Savannah and for Portugal, which takes the first step towards assuming a significant role in the European value chain of lithium batteries and in the energy transition”, highlighted Dale Ferguson.

A favourable DIA allows Savannah to move forward "with the project's key economic studies, including the publication of an updated scoping study, early in the second half of 2023."

The public consultation of the reformulated Environmental Impact Study (EIA) of the Barroso mine ended in April with 912 participations submitted through the Participa portal.

The company submitted the EIA for the Barroso mine in June 2020 and, two years later, the project received an “unfavourable” opinion from the APA evaluation committee, but, under article 16 of the legal Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), the project was reformulated and resubmitted for appreciation.

The Barroso mine has an estimated duration of 17 years, the planned concession area is 593 hectares and is contested by local associations and environmentalists and the Câmara de Boticas, in the district of Vila Real.