Castro Marim Chamber is against mining in the county

Castro Marim was not heard in the process, despite the project implementation area covering its territory

It was not previously consulted, as required by law, but that did not prevent the Chamber of Castro Marim from to express its opposition to the attribution of prospecting and research rights for ores in this municipality and in Alcoutim, during the public consultation period for that licensing application.

More than expressing its opposition to granting the prospecting and research concession for «mineral deposits of gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc and associated ores», in the Northeast Algarve, to the company Emirsurmin, the Castromarinense Chamber defends that, «before any allocation of concession rights», an «analysis of the environmental and geological impact» of mining in this area must be carried out.

For Francisco Amaral, mayor of Castro Marim, who signs the pronouncement in the public participation process, the municipality «should have been formally consulted», since the opinion of the affected municipalities, as is the case, is binding.

In this way, the Chamber could have requested additional elements so that it could pronounce itself before the public consultation of this request.

The position of the castromarinense autarchy ended up being taken, albeit later and in another context.

In the pronouncement of the Chamber, a document to which the Sul Informação had access, Francisco Amaral defended the prior determination of restrictions that "safely ensure the protection of the Guadiana RH7 Hydrographic Region and the quality of water for human supply".

This suggestion is put forward by the fact that the area designated by Ferrarias, the area where the project will be implemented, covers more than 494 square kilometers, in the Parishes of Alcoutim and Pereiro, Martim Longo and Vaqueiros (Alcoutim) and Azinhal and Odeleite (Castro Marim ), covering the entire reservoir of the Odeleite Dam.

On the other hand, the Chamber of Castro Marim «has serious doubts about the articulation of the constraints» pointed out by several consulted entities, «specifically because they are based only on the planning instruments in force, and depending on the competence of each consulted entity, ignoring, for example any constraints associated with Ribeira da Foupana and other investment plans for the management of water resources, today still without a development plan within the scope of the RJGIT».

The process also suffers from the fact that it does not contain “an opinion from the RAN Commission, nor the Ministry of Agriculture, which oversee and monitor installed and emerging agricultural projects, in the territory now the subject of this consultation, with the aggravating factor determined in article 28 of the Decree Law 30/2021, of May 7, with regard to the rights of expropriation for public utility by the holders of assigned exploration contracts».

Lastly, the Municipality of Castro Marim recalls that it is the «ultimate entity with planning responsibilities, who are required to undergo a complex procedure to change their Land Use Plans, now in the process of revising the Municipal Master Plan (PDM), who are sectorial characterization studies are required, just to determine the planning strategies».

This type of license attribution «violates what the Soil Law determines to the municipalities in terms of planning, because it is positioned in a superior way», says the municipality.

For all this, the municipality «expresses its opposition to the procedure, in which it would like to have had a more active participation, and in order to transform these economic potentials into programmed and considered opportunities for the territories».



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