Savannah Resources Plc provided an update of the “Article 16” phase of the review by Portugal’s Environmental Regulatory Authority, Agência Portugaluesa do Ambiente (“APA”), on the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA”) for the Barroso Lithium Project (the “Project”). As previously announced on July 6, 2022, Savannah has agreed to enter the EIA review process into this additional, time-limited phase. Since it was agreed with the APA in early July that the review process must continue under Article 16 of the Portuguese Environmental Impact Assessment Act, Savannah has held several meetings with the regulator. These meetings were very useful and productive, and Savannah gained a good understanding of the APA’s claim to certain aspects of the project.
Areas discussed so far include project infrastructure components and local water resource management. Further meetings are scheduled to address the few remaining aspects of the project that the APA and the entities that make up its review committee would like to be reviewed. International engineering and environmental consultancy firms Knight Piésold, Quadrante and VISA Consultores were hired to work with Savannah and its other expert advisors to review the project design as requested by APA.
During discussions with the APA, it was emphasized that the “six-month” period as defined in Article 16 legislation, which allows a proposer to resubmit revised EIA documents, refers to 180 working days and not six calendar months. Therefore, Savannah has until March 17, 2023 to submit its revised plans to the regulator. The revisions are well underway and Savannah expects to resubmit them in the first quarter of 2023; The APA will then have a maximum of 50 business days to complete its review and issue an Environmental Impact Statement (“IAD”) decision.
Prior to making its final DIA decision for the project, the APA suggested that the EIA process for the Barroso Lithium project continue under Section 16 of Decree-Law No. 151-B/2013, as amended. / 2017 of December 11 (“Article 16”), which regulates environmental impact assessments in Portugal. Under Section 16, Savannah has up to 180 business days to redefine or review certain physical aspects of the project’s design and associated environmental, ecological, social and economic aspects and return them to the APA for review.