PBI-Spanish State accompanies environmental defenders on visit to site of proposed lithium mine near Cáceres, Extremadura region

Published by Brent Patterson on

Photo: Defenders from Colombia, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico with PBI-Spanish State visit the site of the proposed lithium mine near the city of Cáceres in the autonomous region of Extremadura in Spain. Photo by Asociación ICID.

On November 27, PBI-Spanish State tweeted:

“Because transiting the territories affected by capitalist extractivism in the Spanish State is also defending #Human Rights and the #commons. In #Cáceres, with @salvemosMontana @AsociacionICID @ASOCOLEMAD @la_odico and @guapinolre, sharing peaceful resistance processes.”

The “Save La Montaña de Cáceres” Facebook page notes it “was born in the summer of 2017 as a platform for control and opposition to the open-pit lithium mine project in Valdeflores, in the shady area of La Montaña de Cáceres.”

They add: “There is no case like this in the rest of the world, in which a highly aggressive extractive activity is intended to be installed less than 800 meters from an urban center as important as Cáceres, a World Heritage city with 100,000 inhabitants.”

Earth Island Journal has also explained:

Infinity Lithium Spain, a local subsidiary of the Australian multinational Infinity Lithium, aims to exploit the Valdeflores lithium deposit, which is considered to be the largest in Europe.

As the demand for lithium has grown in recent years — the metal is used in lithium-ion batteries, a cornerstone of the growing green energy economy due to their use in electric vehicles and for green energy storage.

The regional government of Extremadura granted the company research rights to a site in Valdeflores Valley in 2015. These permits allowed the area to be investigated but not exploited.

The company has since submitted two different proposals for the site, both of which tout job creation associated with the project. The first proposal, submitted in 2018, involved a large open pit mine. The second, offered in response to community concerns in October 2021, involves an underground mine, with hydrogen-powered vehicles as sustainable option.

So far, locals have stalled the mine, forming a citizen group, Salvemos la Montaña (Save the Mountain), which has taken Infinity to court.

This group says that the open-pit mine project announced in 2018 would destroy the protected area of Valdeflores and that the resulting emissions of the mining process and equipment would pollute the city, affecting air quality. Furthermore, members are skeptical about the numbers the company has presented regarding new jobs.

The full article can be read at Locals Are Fighting Plans for a Lithium Mine in the Spanish Countryside (August 2022).

Photo by PBI-Spanish State.

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