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Petition to stop lithium mine in Cañaveral

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
At the request of Cesar, owner of the Casa Rural in Grimaldo, I am posting a link to a change.org petition to voice opposition to the mines that are being proposed for a location in Cañaveral. It is essentially on or very near to both the Vdlp and the town. Their prediction is that the town of Cañaveral will not be able to co-exist with this mine. They fear total degradation of the water supply. That is so ironic and sad, because when I was in César’s casa rural, he showed me the intricate area-wide irrigation system that was in tact from the days of Muslim rule.


This is a David and Goliath fight, there is a lot of big money involved, and this article in English desribes it as the most important business initiative in Extremadura in the last 25 years. Many jobs are being dangled here in a region that has seen a lot of job losses and depopulation. But we can all probably remember a few successful fights against other big projects in Galicia right on the camino. César says the people are really energized and organized and hopeful but they know what they are up against.

You can find lots of descriptions about the environmental impact of lithium mining, and it bears noting that it is an essential component for electric cars.

Here is a translation of the Spanish petition — feel free to forward or to publicize on any social media.

Say no to the Mine of Las Navas (Cañaveral)



We declare our opposition to the development of the mega-mine proposed by JESAMPA in the natural area of the Dehesa Boyal Las Navas in the locality of Cañaveral (Cáceres) because of the serious risk it poses to the health of the neighbors, its negative environmental impact and its complete incompatability with Cáceres’ plan of sustainable development.

#noalaminacañaveral

#salvemoslasnavas

The mega-mine that they wish to build is located in a dehesa (forested pastureland) of high ecological value. It is inhabited by many species that are included in the Catalogue of Threatened Species in Extremadura, and some are even in danger of extinction. The area serves as a connector and ecological corridor between several protected spaces, such as the Biosphere Reserve of Monfragüe, the ZEPA of Monfragüe (protected environmental zone for birds), the Monfragüe ZEC (Special Conservation Zone) (3 km from the site of the mine). The Canchos de Ramiro y Ladronera ZEPA (protecterd environmental zone for birds) is less than 1 km to the southwest of the mining site. Most of these sites are part of the European Natura 2000, a network of areas targeted for conserving biodiversity, and as such proteted by European regulations.

The project will damage the natural ecosystems of the towns of Cañaveral, Grimaldo, Casas de Millán, Pedroso de Acím, Holguera, Portezuelo and Torrejoncillo. The project will damage habitats and will pollute the Alagón and Tagus Rivers with toxic residual byproducts.

In addition, it will negatively and directly affect the residents of Grimaldo, since the area identified by the mining company is located 250 meters from the center of town.

The goal of the “Dehesa de Las Navas” Mine is to extract lithium. Once again, a project designed to benefit the automobile industry while destroying ecosystems of high economic value, a perfect example of unsustainable development.

The mine will extract lithium, cesium, and tantalum, which are all extremely toxic, carcinogenic and generally dangerous to human health. Does anyone wish to live in an unhealthy and potentially radioactive environment? What would happen to our agricultural and livestock production? Who would want to buy those products?

The mine would produce severe impacts on the local vegetation, resulting in the razing of more than 2000 oaks and cork trees. It could also directly affect protected flora and fauna by its total and irreversible transformation of the entire area.

The proponents of the mine falsely proclaim the creation of 400 direct jobs in the region during the next 20 years. The reality is that there would be only a few jobs for unskilled workers. Over the long term, it would not compensate for the harm done to the agriculture and livestock of the area. Once the mine has finished its extraction, the area would remain in a desert-like state, and the land would be unproductive for decades. It is impossible to recreate a forested pastureland of centuries old oaks and cork trees with young trees that take many decades to reach a stage of productivity. It may even be impossible for new growth to take root in the unfertile land. There are no guarantees made by the company that the zone will be restored. There are many examples of mining operations that abandon the area without replanting or mitigating all of the other negative environmental impacts once their mining operations are finished.

The mineral extraction will require 400,000 cubic meters of water every year. Supposedly, this water will be supplied by EDAR (Water Treatment Agency) and the reservoir of Cañaveral, by rainwater, by water from the streams, and from a well that will be dug to the east of Grimaldo. These operations could very well result in the loss of the few water resources currently available, making Grimaldo uninhabitable.

All of this mining activity will seriously deplete the water resources used in agriculture and livestock in the area. It will also pollute surface and subsurface water, which will have a negative impact on the entire area around the Alagón River. Drought and water pollution would be the future of the streams and aquifers in the area. Has anyone considered the number of jobs that the mine will destroy in our local economy of agriculture and livestock?

It is likely that the aquifer of Galisteo will also be damaged by this mine. This aquifer is one of the best and the best preserved aquifers of the entire Tagus Watershed.

During the mining phase of the project, an estimated 27.5 million cubic meters of residual byproducts will also be extracted. They will be stored in an enormous dump of 150 hectares, located a mere 600 meters from Grimaldo. The project description also notes the likelihood of potentially dangerous and radioactive waste materials (tantalum and niobium). Will this mine leave our environment radioactive and dangerous for many centuries to come?

The first phase of extraction will be done with an open pit mine of 33 hectares and another phase of extraction in subterranean galleries, which will reach a depth of 50 meters below sea level. And all of this, with contant blasting at less then 2 kilometers from the town of Grimaldo, and within a few kilometers of other towns, such as Holguera, Pedroso de Acím o Casas de Millán. These places are at grave risk because of the toxic byproducts (which are the result of the actual mining operations as well as the minerals’ subsequent treatment) and the airborne dust, all of which are very dangerous to human health. And what guarantees exist that this is not all a trick and that perhaps the entire operation will become an open pit mine? This form of mining is much less expensive than subsurface extraction.

The distance from the mine to the towns would be:

✔ Grimaldo, less than 600 meters to the east.

✔ Pedroso de Acím, aproximately 2 kilometers to the southeast.

✔ Holguera, about 2 kilometers to the north.

✔ Cañaveral, about 4 kilometers to the south.

✔ Casas de Millán, about 3 kilometers to the southeast.

✔ Portezuelo, about 7 kilometers to the southwest.

✔ Torrejoncillo, about 8 kilometers to the northwest.

To treat the extracted minerals, very toxic products will be used. Sulfuric acid or chlorohydric acid are but two of those products, and there are no guarantees that those products will not contaminate the water and damage the future of agriculture and livestock operations in the area. Do 20 years of mineral extraction justify the destruction of ecosystems that have been developed over hundreds of years by the residents of the area? How will the local people make a living thirty years from now?

The project is still in an initial phase. The negative environmental impacts that this mine would generate in the entire area violate numerous environmental regulations, among them, the Directive regarding birds, 79/409/CEE, the Directive regarding habitats, 92/43/UE, and the Directive regarding water, 2000/60/CE.

The project would destroy our natural patrimony and would make impossible the development of a sustainable tourism. The policy of sustainable development espoused by the Government of Extremadura, and its adopted Strategy of the Green Economy in Extremadura 2030 seem to be just another lie told by our political leaders.
 
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David61

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2019
Frances (2020)
Signed. Yes it is used for electric car batteries but it has to be very high purity to be of use. Also there are other products in development that do not use lithium carbonate and are not as destructive to the planet. Would be awful to destroy a beautiful environment for little future use
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
A word of warning - If you make a donation on the change dot org website, be careful to verify that you aren't signing up for recurring monthly charges. I got directed to the Japanese website, which I scanned quickly, so perhaps I missed something, Nonetheless I was careful to uncheck the two boxes on the form so that my data would not be shared etc. I didn't notice any language about recurring payments. Perhaps it was buried in small print. This is what's called a "dark pattern" ... It's not fraud ... not quite.

When I proceeded through the donation page, I thought I was making a one-time donation to enable this particular campaign to be promoted to more people. That is what the first email confirmation seemed to confirm. But then I received another email which thanked me for agreeing to pay a recurring membership fee to change.org. Needless to say, I promptly cancelled and I'll watch my credit card bill closely.

Frankly, this is the kind of thing that discourages me from using sites like change dot org.

Screenshots of the emails I received (translated using Google) below.
 

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El Cascayal

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Primitivo May 2019
Invierno November 2019
Ingles April (2020) postponed
Signed. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.❤️🌎
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
At César’s request I am going to translate the petition into English, but I am stumped. How in the world should I translate dehesa? I know what it is, it’s that lovely area in Extremadura with holm oaks, babbling brooks in springtime, lots of boulders, flowers, but what is a good word?


Maybe pasture?
 

Paladina

old woman of the roads
Year of past OR future Camino
CF, primitivo & del norte (2017); VdlP/Sanabres, ingles etc (2018), Mozarabe etc (2019), tbc (2020)
Thanks for the notification. Having enjoyed my stay in Canaveral on two occasions, signing the petition was one way of expressing my appreciation.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
2012
At César’s request I am going to translate the petition into English, but I am stumped. How in the world should I translate dehesa? I know what it is, it’s that lovely area in Extremadura with holm oaks, babbling brooks in springtime, lots of boulders, flowers, but what is a good word?


Maybe pasture?
Here in the UK the practice is known as Forest Grazing, or Pasturage. It’s what Knepp are practicing as the foundation of their re-wilding process. Free grazing herbivores maintaining a balanced ecology of trees, scrub and grassland. A reversion to what much of the UK looked like before the agricultural revolution. Perhaps Forested Pasture or Range Pasture might offer a vision to the English speaking nations.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I just added the translation of the petition to my initial post. I should also add that César will appreciate any and all support from Camino associations, so feel free to forward the link and my translation to any group or person that might be supportive. Thanks, buen camino, Laurie
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
At César’s request I am going to translate the petition into English, but I am stumped. How in the world should I translate dehesa? I know what it is, it’s that lovely area in Extremadura with holm oaks, babbling brooks in springtime, lots of boulders, flowers, but what is a good word?


Maybe pasture?

There may not be one specific word in translation? Woodlands...meadows, natural gardens....
Your description may be most accurate?
 
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OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020
They fear total degradation of the water supply. That is so ironic and sad, because when I was in César’s casa rural, he showed me the intricate area-wide irrigation system that was in tact from the days of Muslim rule.
Whilst walking beside this system of water in 2019 - heading to the Albergue ‘Embalse de Alcántara’ - which is close to Cañaveral , I took many photos. Ist one heading there. 2nd one 8am next morning looking back.
I also looked over the first long bridge walking in - and could see clearly heaps of large fish .. I didn’t think to take a pic of those. My point is - I would hate to see these fish end up like many did in a few Australian rivers during our drought and ‘unknown ‘ other causes. There were many fb posts at the time. We are meant to look after our planet.
I will try to share this..
 

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Mr. Walker

Member
In the gospel of Matthew it says:

But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Therefore I am not saying if I signed or not...

Ah, what the heck! Of course I SIGNED!
 
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