“This will not be the end of everything, but the beginning of a fight. Now the fight, the contestation, and the court proceedings will begin. We will certainly challenge this Environmental Impact Statement (DIA) in the courts and wherever else”, Armando Pinto, leader of the association that was created to fight against mining exploitation, in Montalegre, district of Vila Real, told the Lusa agency.
For Armando Pinto, the project “will destroy the region”, especially the parish of Morgade, and will have “completely devastating impacts” on the population.
“We are not going to give up, this is not going to make us give up and we believe that we will still be able to reverse these decisions and bring this project to an end”, he highlighted.
After the approval of the DIA for the Barroso mine, in the neighboring municipality of Boticas, Armando Pinto said he was not surprised by the positive decision for the mine in Montalegre, but warned of the “cumulative effects” of the two mining projects.
“They cannot separate the two projects, because they are extremely close and there is a cumulative effect and this has never been considered. For example, the Beça River will be affected by both projects and they are both in an area that is World Agricultural Heritage [Barroso]”, he stated.
According to the APA, the project includes “from now on a socio-economic compensation package, including the allocation of 75% of operating costs (royalties) to the municipality of Montalegre” and incorporates compensatory measures aimed at local communities.
Regarding the Iberian wolf, a protected species in Portugal, it imposes minimization and/or compensatory measures for the Leiranco pack and adjacent packs that may be indirectly affected.
The Romano mine proposes mixed exploration, open pit and underground, and has a useful life of 13 years, which may be extended.