Ref. Ares(2022)7403026 - 25/10/2022
San José Valdeflórez lithium project
Since the beginning of 2022, political and social attitudes towards Infinity Lithium’s
Extremadura New Energies' (ENE) integrated industrial lithium project in Cáceres have turned
from negative to supportive.
This change has been conveyed both in public statements of support
and in marked shifts in the positions of the key elected officials.
This change was due to the new layout of the project proposed by ENE:
x San José lithium project will be an underground exploitation project
lithium hydroxide production plant set to be unique in Europe
(producing a 20.000 ton/highly enriched lithium/year)
powered by renewable energies, including the first of its kind green
, with the declared objective of achieving zero emissions.
ENE has engaged actively with the local and regional communities to establish good relations and
areas of collaboration with both civil society and the different administrations.
ENE has recently submitted an “Initial Document” of the San José Lithium Project to the Dirección
General de Industria, Energía y Minas (General Directorate of Industry, Energy and Mines) and
Dirección General de Sostenibilidad (General Directorate of Sustainability) in Extremadura. The
purpose of the document is to request that the environmental body formulate the Environmental
Impact Assessment Scoping Document (‘ESIA’) in advance of the commencement of the ordinary
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) procedure. The ESIA will be submitted to Extremadura
New Energies within a period of 3 months from the date of the submission of the Initial Document. City of Cáceres Mayor Mr Luis Salaya commented “this is good news, and this is what was
asked of the company from all sides”.
Political support (announcements / quotes)
The change in attitudes
of the different political parties and representatives in Spain can be clearly
seen in the press statements outlined subsequently.
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)
LUIS SALAYA. MAYOR OF CÁCERES
March 26, 2021
The mayor of Cáceres, Luis Salaya, has announced that he will resign if the Junta de Extremadura
authorizes the lithium mine planned for the Valdeflores site in the Sierra de la Mosca, two kilometers
from the city center, although he believes that the project is unfeasible from an urban planning point
of view and trusts the word of the president of the Junta de Extremadura, Guillermo Fernández Vara,
that a decision that is not compatible with the General Municipal Plan (PGM) of Cáceres will not be
adopted". I will not continue to be mayor if a Socialist government allows this project to go ahead",
May 25, 2022
The mayor of Cáceres, Luis Salaya, has pointed out that he is still "suspicious" of the new
underground mine project proposed by the company Extremadura New Energies to develop a lithium
extraction activity in the Sierra de la Mosca, and has explained that the position of the Cáceres town
council "remains the same", which is why it is opposed to this mining project in the Cáceres
"If it is true that we are not already in a scenario of open pit mine it seems to me that the damages
for the city, in the event that the project ends up going forward, obviously, are minor", but "beyond
that", said Salaya, the position of the city council against the project "remains the same" because it
understands that "there are more risks than possible benefits".
20220525_2103139 June 7, 2022
Luis Salaya: "I am not opposed to the new mine project in Cáceres. It can be good for the city". (…)
We stand to check that things are done well and that they are legal and above all, the most important
thing is that the decision is taken in Cáceres. (…) this is a project that can be beneficial for the city,
which has nothing to do with the open-pit project. Our duty is to defend what is good for the city and
in the city's interest. (…) It is a success for the city.” (…) I have conveyed to 'Salvemos la Montaña'
that if their position is one of refusal, without seeing the new project, here our paths separate."
Sept. 12, 2022
The new project "will have to be judged, analyzed and will have to go through the entire
environmental impact study project," which means that "a new process begins and will have to follow
all the steps to be able to form an opinion of what is presented," Salaya said Monday to questions
from the media on this matter at a press conference. "This is neither a yes nor a no," stressed the
September 29, 2022
"We didn't even dream of getting this far: with the open-pit project discarded and with an underground
project. Now everyone will be able to form an opinion and assess whether it is worth it in these new
terms. Respect the right to have an opinion and even to doubt".
GUILLERMO FERNÁNDEZ VARA. PRESIDENT OF THE REGIONAL GOVERNMENT OF
May 27, 2022
The President of the Regional Government, Guil ermo Fernández Vara, considers that the new
project that Extremadura New Energies (a subsidiary of Infinity Lithium) has for the Valdeflores
lithium mine and treatment plant is “different to the one that had been announced”, and therefore
“we will have to see it again”. In statements to Onda Cero, he also assured that it is the Board “the
administration that has to make the decision”.
https://www.hoy.es/caceres/vara-dice-nuevo-20220527203020-nt.html June 8, 2022
Regional Government of Extremadura,
the words of the Mayor of Cáceres on the new Valdeflores mine project. He stressed that if it is
"environmentally sustainable" there should be "no problem" and furthermore "no politician can
oppose it". For
Luis Salaya's words are "common sense and have coherence", and would
be endorsed by "all 8,000 mayors" in the country. According to
, if it is "environmentally
viable, then why should there be a problem", he said, adding that "if there are reports" in this sense,
"no politician can oppose it".
minero-de-caceres-sea-viable June 9, 2022
The President of the Regional Government of Extremadura, Guil ermo Fernández Vara, has
acknowledged that he has had “a recent constructive conversation with the promoters of the Cáceres
mine, as with everyone else”, and has asked that “speculations” about the new underground project
be abandoned, since in his opinion “the best thing” is to “wait for the project to be presented” and
then study it and decide on it.
Popular Party (PP)
The change in the position of the PP in Spain can also clearly be seen in the development of the
press statements from completely rejecting the mining project in 2018 to declaring in 2022 that if the
mine is good for the people of Cáceres then the PP wil support it. February 19, 2018.
The 'popular' mayor of Cáceres, Elena Nevado, has called "plunderers" those responsible for the
lithium ore prospecting works that had begun to be carried out in the Valdeflórez site, in the Sierra
de la Mosca, a few kilometers from the urban center of Cáceres. "We have stopped a plundering",
says Elena Nevado, highlighting that with the decision to stop the works "investors are not scared
away, but the plunderers are scared away. In the Sierra de la Mosca, the popular Mountain of
Cáceres, where the sanctuary of the Virgen de la Montaña, patron saint of Cáceres, is located, it is
not being invested", according to the mayoress, "but plundered". "There will be no mine" assures
del-litio March 12, 2018.
The mayor of Cáceres, Elena Nevado, has defended that the position of the Government team to
the lithium mine project in the city remains "no", since after the meeting held this Monday with the
heads of the company Tecnología Extremeña del Litio (TEL), "they have answered all the questions
that 'no', so the answer is also 'no'".
respecto-a-la-mina-de-litio-en-caceres-nuestra-respuesta-es-un-rotundo-no.html October 18, 2021
the PP in the City Council of Cáceres,
, has pointed out that his
municipal group maintains the "no" to the lithium mine in the Valdeflores site if the new project
presented by the promoters, who are now betting on an underground subway mine, is harmful to
Cáceres and the people of Cáceres, but adds that they will pronounce on this new proposal when
they know all the details.
perjudica-caceres-recuerda-pgm-puede-cambiar-20211018120655.html June 1, 2022
in the city council of Cáceres,
, assured this Wednesday that his
political group does not yet have an opinion on the new mine project given that the company has not
yet presented them with the document. "We don't know the project, therefore we can't pronounce
who added that there has not yet been any contact with the
proyecto-mina-66787019.html July 3, 2022
María Guardiola, president of the Popular Party of Extremadura: "If (the mine) is good for Cáceres
and has no risk, the PP will support it".
Other relevant articles
Below are two extracts from articles published this past weekend in the main regional newspapers
that perfectly illustrate the change in attitudes towards the San José Project. Extremadura Newspaper. Sunday. October 2, 2022.
But it is no longer when, (…) but rather whether or not there will be a mine in the end. If the question
had been asked a year ago, the answer would have been "no", but now the answer is "it depends
on what is still to be processed". What has changed in a year? What has changed is that the project
is underground, which reduces its impact, and that the Board is processing the final approval of a
decree law that helps the development of this type of project, which also, in the case of Valdeflores,
treats the mineral in the same area where it is extracted. The decree law does not make it already
viable, but it does facilitate its processing by shortening the terms.
HOY Newspaper. Sunday. October 2, 2022.
What only a year ago seemed almost impossible is getting closer to becoming a reality. All the news
of the last weeks point to the fact that the lithium mine of Cáceres will end up going ahead (...). The
Valdeflores mine had practically all the doors closed in September 2021, with a strong social and
political rejection and the project stuck in an administrative dead end after being denied the research
permit. It was the company's renunciation of its original open-pit mining plan that changed
everything. The announcement of the underground mine first received the support of several
business groups in Cáceres and then, if not an express endorsement, at least the benefit of the
doubt from the main political parties and the institutional decision-makers on whom the decision
March 3, 2022
The promoter of the lithium mine joins the Caceres Business Circle
empresarial-cacereno/ May 12, 2022
The lithium mine in Cáceres obtains the support of the transport employers' association Asemtraex
https://www.hoy.es/caceres/mina-litio-caceres-20220512095936-nt.html May 31, 2022
“It is necessary for Europe and for Spain that the new Extremadura New Energies project becomes
proyecto-extremadura-66574418.html June 1, 2022
The Chamber of Commerce of Cáceres shows its support to the industrial project of the lithium mine
August 30, 2022
The "yes" to the mine is displayed in Cáceres' shop windows
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This material was prepared and submitted by Rasmussen Global as part of the representation work
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