The Uranium miner said that local residents had cited job creation, which would allow young residents to remain in their hometowns and reverse decades of depopulation, as a key reason for supporting the petition, adding that a majority of the on-site team had already been recruited from the local area.
Berkeley also said that Spanish daily newspaper La Gaceta had featured a large article highlighting that local support for the project is “massive and unanimous” and “supporting and developing the local communities are two of the foundations on which Berkeley’s project is based”.
To date, the company has received over 22,500 job applications with 400 of those coming from villages surrounding the project and of those, over 110 from the local village of Villavieja, representing 25% of its population.
Paul Atherley, managing director of Berkeley Energia, said: “We are thrilled that so many local residents turned out to support our project over the past few days demonstrating the huge amount of support for the Salamanca mine, which is located in a region experiencing some of the highest levels of youth unemployment in the European Union.
He added: “Development of the mine will stimulate the return of services such as schools, petrol stations and transport to the local villages and will help to bring back some of the 25,000 mainly young people who left the area last year to look for employment”.