The Barroso Lithium Project’s EIA provides a comprehensive factual outline of how Savannah will responsibly develop and operate the Project to minimise its impact on the environment and the local population, as well as the social, economic and demographic benefits that the Project can bring to the region and Portugal.
Savannah first submitted the EIA to Agência Portuguesa do Ambiente (’APA’), the Portuguese environmental regulator, in May2020. APA declared Savannah’s submission to be in conformity with its requirements for the content of the EIA on 16 April 2021, and a public consultation period was held from 22 April until 16 July 2021
On 6 July 2022 Savannah announced that it had agreed with APA that the EIA review process would continue under Article 16 of Decree-Law No. 151-B/2013 ('Article 16'), which regulates Environmental Impact Assessments in Portugal. Under Article 16. Savannah had up to 180 business days to redesign or revise certain physical aspects of the Project's design and associated environment, ecology and socio-economic considerations and resubmit them to APA for consideration.
Savannah made its resubmission to APA on 16 March 2023, ahead of the deadline set by the legislation.
Following resubmission, APA had until 31 May 2023 (a maximum of 50 business days) to review the resubmission and give its Environmental Impact Statement decision. A second public consultation was also held during this period between 22 March and 19 April 2023.
APA issued a positive Environmental Impact Statement (‘DIA’) on Savannah’s revised design and optimisation for the Barroso Lithium Project on 31 May 2023. This represents a major milestone for the Project and was the first positive DIA for a lithium raw material supply project in Portugal.
As expected, in line with international practice, the DIA was issued with a set of conditions, measures and compensations which, following review, Savannah agreed to, and which should provide further assurance that the Project will be developed and operated in a socially and environmentally responsible way, and that socio-economic benefits will be shared with stakeholders.
Following the positive DIA, Savannah expects the remainder of the environmental licencing process to take 9-12 months to complete. Hence, the Company expects the Project to receive its Environmental Licence in 2024.
To receive the Environmental Licence Savannah must now complete the Environmental Compliance Report of the Execution Project (‘RECAPE’). During this phase of the licencing process the Company will again engage with APA to ensure that all the conditions set in the DIA are captured in the final design of the Project. Savannah will then submit the final designs for the Project along with the measures and environmental monitoring plans to be implemented during the construction and operating phases to meet the criteria established by the DIA. If these designs and plans are approved by APA the environmental conformity of the detailed design can be declared (“DCAPE”).
Running in parallel with the RECAPE process is the licencing award process. Once the DCAPE declaration has been made the Project can be awarded its final Environmental Licence, ‘Título Único Ambiental’. APA is expected to take around 60 working days to review the submission.