In the petition, approved on Saturday, in Barosa, in a meeting attended by dozens of people, it is read that those two towns “have been manifesting, for several years, negative consequences due to the exploration of existing kaolins and aggregates”, saying that there is an “evident decrease in of the water table” in both parishes.
The documents presented within the scope of the request for granting the concession, according to that document, “do not properly safeguard the cumulative environmental impacts of one more exploration or an increase in the exploration area of this type of material”.
The undersigned adds that, given the “current context of limited availability of water resources that the country is experiencing, citizens and municipalities argue that authorization for the concession of this type of activity must be the subject of a thorough analysis and, ultimately.. avoided”.
Also pointing out that “inert (mining) exploration activities can effectively lead to strong and serious impacts on aquifer systems”, in addition to the “giant impact” on the forest area, the underwriters also warn of the “negative consequences for health public health, quality of life, ecosystem stability, arable land surface and agricultural and livestock production”.
The internet site participa.pt refers that the Directorate-General for Energy and Geology (DGEG) is currently “processing the request for the attribution of prospecting and research rights for mineral deposits of silica sands and kaolin” with the name ' Barosa'.
The promoting entity is Sorgila - Sociedade de Argilas, SA and the consultation period ends on Friday. As of 12:00 today, there were 333 entries.
In the descriptive memory presented by Sorgila, and available on that 'site', it is read that the area object of the request is 76.06 hectares, in the Union of Parishes of Marrazes and Barrosa.
Still according to the descriptive memory, specifically the geological framework, “the sands of Barosa constitute, due to their characteristics, one of the best occurrences of white sands in Portugal, being that to the north of the Leiria–Marinha Grande road, between Barosa and Casal do Ineixa, there are explorations of white sand, for the ceramic industry”.
“In addition to their good characteristics, they also have advantages in their extraction, in that it is carried out only using a swivel”, says the company.
In the document, which includes the plan of work to be carried out, with “the expected initial duration of two years”, Sorgila adds that, if “the prospecting and research” prove to be technically and economically viable, it will proceed with the exploration concession” , listing the counterparts, such as the “equitable distribution of 'royalties'” between the State and the municipality, the “creation of jobs”, the “availability of materials and equipment to support social, cultural or sporting actions in the parishes involved or compliance with “environmental protection and landscape restoration” measures.
Meanwhile, the Câmara de Leiria announced that it will send an exhibition to the DGEG expressing its opposition to the exploration of aggregates in Barosa.
“At stake is the proximity of population clusters, the de-characterization of the landscape, the reduction of the forest area, the interference in water flows with a potential lowering of the water table, the decrease in air quality due to the existence of dust, the increase in noise and the degradation of communication routes”, reads a press release issued by the municipality on Sunday.
For the Chamber, chaired by Gonçalo Lopes (PS), “the legitimate right of the population to decide on the use of soil and safeguard the environmental quality in its territory must prevail”.
On December 14, 2022, the autarchy decided, by majority, to issue a favorable opinion subject to Sorgila's request.