The mayor of Cáceres, Luis Salaya, backs down after stating this morning that the General Urban Planning Plan (PGM) of Cáceres could not prevent an underground mine in Valdeflores. In a statement issued by the City Council minutes before three in the afternoon, it rectifies the councilor’s statements, indicating that the urban plan prohibits mining activity 2 kilometers from Cáceres, “which prevents an underground mine in this area as proposed by Infinity Lithium ».
Salaya had indicated a few hours earlier, at the presentation of the first ‘Carbon Neutral’ campus data center in Europe, corresponding to the first phase of the CCGreen project, that the urban plan could not prevent an underground mine, so he wanted to rectify those statements . He also insisted that the new project “does not exist beyond the speculative world” because the promoting company has not registered it with any administration.
This legal instrument for urban planning is the main obstacle that the Valdeflores open-pit mining project has encountered so far, and in fact the City Council of Cáceres already refused to modify it in 2018 after the negative reports prepared by the technicians.
The plan regulates soil, subsoil and flight, hence any mining activity two kilometers from Cáceres cannot be carried out either underground or on the surface, indicates the Consistory statement.
In addition, the extractive activity in the subsoil is also a mining activity, and once the soil is excavated and the material is removed, both the cleaning and the subsequent treatment are carried out on the surface.
The Cáceres urban planning plan is the main obstacle that the Valdeflores open-pit mining project has encountered so far, and in fact the Cáceres City Council already refused to modify it in 2018 after the negative reports prepared by the technicians.
In an interview recently published in HOY, the CEO of Extremadura New Energies, Ramón Jiménez, assured that the new project will be handed over to the competent administrations once the dispute over the denial of the Valdeflórez research permit by the Board, which is pending a judicial resolution after the appeal filed by Infinity Lithium.
The new project contemplates an underground mine that would be accessed through a tunnel located next to the lithium treatment plant, with a much lower visual impact than the initially planned open-pit mine, and which to date is the only one that has been processed. According to the company, the processes applied for lithium refining also change so that they are less polluting, as well as the consumption of water, which is reused after obtaining it from the treatment plant. It also ensures that the Calerizo aquifer would not be affected, since it is located in a different geological fold than where the deposit that is expected to be exploited is located.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.