Portugal Lithium Battle: Maria Loureiro’s Fight Against Mining Giants Threatening Heritage

Portugal Lithium Battle: In Portugal’s Barroso area, Maria Loureiro is crying because She is losing her family’s land. She has lived on for generations and is at risk of being taken for a considerable lithium mine. This mine could be a massive source of lithium for EV batteries and other green technologies.

“I won’t give up my heritage,” Loureiro says as he fights against the considerable mining company that is coming.

This strong opposition, shared across Europe, could slow the EU’s efforts to become more environmentally friendly and less dependent on China for essential tech materials.

Portugal, which already has 60,000 tons of lithium stocks, is now the starting point for Savannah Resources’ big plan: four open-pit mines producing enough lithium for half a million EV batteries each year.

Martin Jackson, who controls battery raw materials at CRU, says, “A litmus test for Portugal and all of Europe.”

The Critical Raw Materials Act says that by 2030, the EU should be able to get 10% of its own lithium and other essential materials. Germany’s DERA thinks mining projects will meet 25–35% of the EU’s lithium needs by 2030. But the 10% goal for metals like nickel and cobalt seems hard to do.

Portugal Lithium Battle

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There is opposition beyond Barroso. Greta Thunberg led a protest against a Swedish rare earth metals project, which the native Sami people saw as a form of tyranny.

Even though Savannah gave Barroso the green light, it came with some terms. The APA permitted another mine to be built close by, but the public needs more support. Savannah will have to work hard to get the $40 million it has set aside for community projects.

Even though people are discussing it, the land dispute is still a mess. Even though a mining lease protects Savannah, the fight goes on.

As the fight in Barroso continues, Europe has to deal with a problem affecting the whole continent. Locals and activists fight with multinationals when they dig up the land.
It is a call to arms, a problem that affects all of Europe as the quest for mining freedom moves forward. Political forces and environmental worries make it hard to predict what will happen.