In two information leaflets distributed among the population of the two villages and sent to Lusa agency, it is read that the Directorate-General for Energy and Geology (DGEG), on February 15, published a public notice that “aims at prospecting and researching deposits of tripoly minerals and other associated minerals by the company Clariant Ibérica Producción S.A.”.
According to the leaflets, when prospecting and research is allowed, the “peace that reigns” in the villages of Casal da Rola and Casais do Porto, in the parish of Louriçal, “will have its days numbered”.
“The impact of a mineral exploration is harmful for any population and the return is illusory when compared to the harmful consequences that result from this type of exploration (earth movement, high traffic of machines and trucks, water pollution, environmental noise, pollution of the environment, air, destruction of the fauna and flora of our village and devaluation of the real estate heritage of the land adjacent to the quarry)”, adds the leaflet.
The documents appeal to land owners not to allow a company to access them and carry out “any type of collection/analysis”.
One of the signatories of the initiative, Catarina Soares, explained to Lusa that the petitions were sent to various entities, including the DGEG, the Attorney General's Office and the Portuguese Environment Agency, with the knowledge of the Chamber and the Louriçal Council.
According to Catarina Soares, what worries her the most is “the fact that it is a multinational and that it has great power over the different institutions”.
“From the moment of authorisation of the requests, the company can proceed with the exploration request and then we automatically lose control of the situation”, considered Catarina Soares.