Locals and councillors join to oppose lithium prospecting at Moylisha Hill

Six councillors in Baltinglass have come forward to oppose the plan for lithium prospecting at the Moylisha Hill of South West Wicklow.

Wicklow County Council recently asked to view the plans for the lithium mine on the Wicklow/Carlow border, but as of yet they have received no information.

Locals believe that such mining will damage the local ecosystem and degrade the water quality, and this has led to protests taking place at the hill.

The ‘Protect Moylisha Hill’ group have voiced their concerns over the development and have called out The Green Party for allowing it, despite the fact that oil and gas exploration licences have been banned. Fine Gael election candidate Peter Stapleton called The Green Party out on their ‘hypocrisy’ for not including lithium mining in the restrictions.

The Department of Energy and Natural Resources has granted Blackstairs Lithium Company a licence to prospect in 150 townlands across Southwest Wicklow and Carlow. Blackstairs Lithium Company are a subsidary of the world’s largest lithium producer, known as Ganfeng Lithium Corporation.

Locals and councillors alike are concerned that the drilling in these hills will compromise the rich biodiversity and water quality in the area, with Councillor Mary Kavanagh bringing up the issue at February’s meeting of the Wicklow County Council.

Lithium is considered to be essential in the switch to green energy, with the metal being used to produce lithium-ion batteries for such technology as smartphones, laptops, and electric vehicles.

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