MADRID, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Spanish authorities have rejected granting a building permit to Berkeley Energia to open the European Union’s only open-cast uranium mine near Salamanca, a confidential report seen by Reuters showed.
The 12-page report, issued on July 16, is non binding but it makes it politically difficult for the small northwestern village of Retortillo, where the mine is projected to open, to issue the permit.
If the municipality was to disregard the report, it may also pave the way for lawsuits.
Local authorities told Retortillo in the report that the permit sought by Berkeley did not meet legal requirements because the company did not own all the land needed for the project, which also lacked key technical information and had to be first authorised by the central Spanish government.
Berkeley said on Monday Retortillo had received a notice from local authorities not to award the permit until “two outstanding items” had been resolved, which the company said it had already responded to.
Berkeley also reiterated the timing of the award of the licence remained uncertain, was outside of the company’s control and it was unlikely to be received imminently.
Two sources familiar with the matter had told Reuters on Tuesday the Spanish government had decided not to deliver the permits necessary to open the mine. Berkeley shares fell nearly 29 percent before they were suspended from trading. (Reporting by Belen Carreno, writing by Julien Toyer Editing by Paul Day)