These are essential for the manufacture of electric vehicles, wind
turbines and all manner of other equipment essential for the green technology
which will transform the European energy market. Although the extraction process will be
slow at first, eventual production will enable manufacturers to obtain this
valuable resource (for which prices have rocketed in recent years) and thus
replace dependence for supply on China and Russia .
The early return of the global inclement weather
system known as El Nino is being forecast for the late Summer of 2023. With
it will come higher temperatures and longer periods of drought than we
experienced during 2022. If this proves
to be correct, the conditions for the storage of water and limitations on its
use will become even more critical and require strict regulation so that
potability and irrigation for agriculture may be sustained.
These two factors have lent clout to the renewed
voices of the citizens´ protest movements which plan to stage in the seven
districts where mining companies, nearly all foreign owned, are seeking to
conclude contracts before March for the exploitation of metals such as lithium and
copper. For example, the Montalegre Com Vida association has stated that the
Environmental Impact Study for the Romano mine in its Morgade locality
calculates that 10,000 m3 of water will be required daily if the projected
production level is to be achieved and asks from whence will come this huge
volume at a time when local reservoirs are at historic lows and wells to subterranean
aquifers are showing depleted stocks.
Pressures upon the government - both by the EU and the
international elitist corporations which largely decide the direction of the
global economy - to sell off Portugal´s
strategic resources will continue .
The best that can be hoped for is a negotiated reduction in this
exploitation by at least one half over the next five years with an unconditional
provision for suspension should the threat of calamitous environmental
deterioration become a reality.