Savannah could request compulsory land acquisitions for Portuguese lithium project – by Catarina Demony and Pietro Lombardi (Reuters – May 9, 2024)

LISBON, May 9 (Reuters) – London-based Savannah Resources will if necessary ask Portugal’s government to authorise compulsory land acquisitions for its planned lithium mines in the country’s north, CEO Emanuel Proenca said, adding that it prefers “friendly deals”.

The company requires around 840 hectares for its four-mine project in the Barroso region, but according to data from September 2023, it had acquired or was in process of acquiring just 93 hectares.

Savannah has faced strong opposition to the project from local residents and environmentalists, via protests, legal challenges or simply by refusals to sell land. Private owners hold around 24% of the land needed, while 75% is traditional “baldios”, or common land.

Proenca told an investor presentation on Wednesday that Savannah has so far acquired over 100 plots, though it is not clear how many hectares that represents.

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