Thursday, September 28

The Cáceres lithium mine is considering three locations for its underground project

Ramón Jiménez, CEO of Extremadura New Energies next to the recreation of the Valdeflores lithium mining exploitation. / GEORGE KING

The company presents the complete project to the Board for information

Christina Nunez

The company that intends to extract lithium from the city of Cáceres, Extremadura New Energies, (ENE), a subsidiary of Infinity Lithium, presented this Wednesday to the Board for information purposes the start document for the Valdeflores underground exploitation project, the formula with which they try to validate their objective of extracting and processing this strategic mineral. It is, as the CEO of the company, Ramón Jiménez, has recognized, a step that has legal validity although only for informational purposes and that what it intends is for the Board, in this case the Ministry of Ecological Transition, to issue a environmental impact scope document that collects the reports of the administrations and people who have to do with this project. Although ENE had already expressed its resignation to the open pit mine project out loud, it is the first time that the document has been delivered to the Board in black on white.

“Our legal services have confirmed that by taking this step we do not fail to comply with any administrative procedure and they can follow the rest of our permits and our licenses in force and in order and to solve all the doubts on the part of the citizens who asked us when we were going to present the project”, Jiménez indicated. “The administration does not commit to anything, we are the ones who commit ourselves.”

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In any case, it is a regulated figure, which marks the Environment Law 16/2015. The company awaits the judicial resolution on the company’s appeal against the denial of the research permit, but this circumstance has not prevented them from presenting this document, which has also been made public to the public. That of public opinion is one of the battlefields in which the mining company is struggling, which will meet with the neighborhood associations on the next 6th.

What is the roadmap from now on? ENE hopes to have a response from the Board in the next three months to propose improvements and assess the environmental aspects of the proposal. The administration has to give its opinion in consultation with all interested parties. For the company this response is binding, it should include all the dimensions. Before any other movement, it is necessary to wait for the judgment of the appeal on the research permit, although if this were negative, the company could go directly to request the exploitation permit.

During their appearance before the press, Jiménez and David Valls, general director of ENE, gave all the details of the underground mine project, which are those that the Board already has in its possession. “It is a reference project at an ecological and sustainability level,” said Jiménez. It was explained that access to the deposit and the plant that will process the ore into lithium hydroxide may have three locations in areas that are not protected and that they will occupy approximately 100,000 square meters: it is the Guijarro area (in the area between the highway of Miajadas and the slope of the valley), the southern area and Muesas (between the slope of the valley and the road to Trujillo).

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Regarding extraction, he recalled that it is “a pioneering treatment that will allow the sterile to be reused in the circular economy, in the agri-food sector, in the construction sector, there will be no emission of dust or noises,” he explained. 70% of the extracted waste will return to the land, 20% to by-products and 10% to the repair of damaged areas. Jiménez also made an estimate of the benefits that will remain in Extremadura in terms of taxes, and that he estimated at between 47 and 120 million euros per year depending on the price of lithium.

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