The Montalegre Com Vida association is holding a public information session today to explain to locals and emigrants back for the summer about the project.

"What worries us is that it is an open-air mine, regardless of whether it's lithium or anything else,” said Armando Pinto of the association. “And we are concerned about this and the number of requests to prospect that have already been made in our municipality - seven so far."

Pinto also cited another "great concern" relating to the municipal master plan, altered in 2013, and which identifies "20 potential areas for mining" in the area.

Tuesday’s session, he said, will focus on the impacts of this type of mine, both environmental and for the health of people living nearby.

Representatives of other movements active in areas such as the Argemela and d'Arga hills, as well as a geologist, an archaeologist and representatives of environmentalist associations, are also to be present.

In recent times, Montalegre Com Vida has spread around the municipality, with the phrase in Portuguese “No to the mine, yes to life" frequently visible. It has also held meetings in the villages and also distributed a brochure outlining its concerns.

"We warn of the effects on water, on soils, on the socio-economics of populations that will lose common land and consequently subsidies and be left with contaminated pastures, the impacts of noise on populations and the risk of explosions, even if we consider they will be made at a certain depth, for dams over 50 years old and the surrounding houses," said Pinto.

Lusorecursos, the company that in March signed the contract with the Portuguese state to prospect in the area, has said that the mining of lithium in Morgade is to be mixed, first as an open mine and then underground, under the villages.

According to Pinto, if the open-air mining is done up to the altitude of the villages, that means about "eighty to ninety metres deep", so "everything will be destroyed equally."

The parish in question comprises the villages of Morgade, Rebordelo and Carvalhais.