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Lithium developer reduces reliance on freshwater resources

12th May 2023

     

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With its Portugal-based Barroso lithium project, European lithium developer Savannah Resources intends to use a closed-loop water system to reduce its reliance on having to draw water from the Covas river, meaning process water will be stored, treated and recycled onsite and not be discharged from the project.

The developer concluded public consultations into its revised environmental report and mine plan in April and now expects the Portuguese Environment Agency to continue with its review of the project documentation and feedback received, following which it will issue an environmental impact statement (EIS) on the project by May 31.

Among many enhancements made in the project’s revised design, Savannah has specifically addressed the previous feedback received from stakeholders regarding management of water resources, layout of project-related infrastructure, ecology and landscape impacts, as well as socioeconomic considerations.

Some of design features Savannah has incorporated into the project to further reduce its environmental impact include the project sourcing its full water requirement onsite by primarily collecting water in the mining areas, as well as from other surface sources.

The water management plan and level of water consumption means the impact on rivers and the aquatic ecosystem is reduced.

Following the public consultation, Savannah welcomed the opportunity for all interested parties to provide feedback on its revised plans for the project, stating that it used best practice and innovative design to incorporate numerous measures to remove, reduce or mitigate against both its environmental and social impact.

"We welcomed the opportunity which the public consultation period provided for interested parties to share their feedback on our revised plans for the project,” says Savannah CEO Dale Ferguson.

He says Portugal is fortunate in having high quality lithium resources which could enable it to play a key role in providing a raw material which the European Commission has identified as being critical and strategic for the region’s energy transition, as it looks to combat the effects of climate change and develop new sectors in its economy.

Among its other environmental considerations, Savannah has committed to operating well below legal limits for noise and ground vibrations, while the developer will use water treatment to suppress dust on unpaved roads and areas where trucks are unloading at the processing plant. The company will also monitor air quality to ensure levels of dust are within the correct parameters.

 

Edited by Donna Slater
Features Deputy Editor and Chief Photographer

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