"Our objective is, once again, to draw attention to the impact of the Romano mine and the Environmental Impact Study (EIA) that is currently under analysis, and the gaps it presents", said Armando Pinto, leader of the association, which was created to fight against the mine that Lusorecursos Portugal Lithium wants to explore in the Morgade area, in Montalegre, in the district of Vila Real.

The protest was called for Saturday, the third day of the 32nd edition of the Feira do Fumeiro, an event considered an “anchor” for the municipality, which takes place between Thursday and Sunday and attracts many visitors to the town of Trás-os-Montes.

Among the “various” impacts arising from mining exploration is water consumption, a concern that gained prominence in 2022 due to the drought that was felt across the country.

“It says in the EIA that they are going to use about 10,000 cubic meters of water a day, which is brutal. In other words, more water on this Romano mine project will be used in a day than the municipality in a month. Therefore, it is something that we cannot accept”, stated Armando Pinto.

The official pointed to the reservoir of the Alto Rabagão dam (Pisões) which, last year, fell to historic levels.

“In a year like this of drought, we wanted to know what would be the option? Would it be leaving the population without water or would it be providing that water for a project of this size”, he questioned.

In addition to the dam, according to Armando Pinto, the mine will also use water from holes and diversions from the courses of streams in the area.

“A project that consumes this amount of water cannot be a viable project”, he defended.

Armando Pinto also recalled the studies presented by the Universities Nova de Lisboa, de Ciências do Porto, Minho and Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, and stated that they “are unanimous in disapproving this type of project”, especially in this region, stressing that “the only option is to fail the EIA”.

“We cannot remain silent and, therefore, we are once again taking to the streets to show our displeasure and warn of the consequences of mining. We want to show that the subject is not forgotten, that we will continue in our fight and show that this project has no legs, and this is a way that we found to demonstrate that, "he said.

The gathering is scheduled for Saturday afternoon, in the town square, followed by a parade through the streets of the village, passing along the main avenue, next to the multipurpose pavilion, where the fair will be taking place.