The possibility of a lithium mine along the Carlow Wicklow border has resulted in a campaign by local residents to halt exploratory drilling.
Blackstairs Lithium Company, a subsidiary of the world's largest lithium producer, has been investigating the Blackstairs area since 2009.
However, a recent attempt by the company to renew its drilling licence to prospect a 50km scenic area between Carlow and Wicklow has resulted in opposition from local residents.
A community group called Protect Moylisha Hill has voiced their concern that lithium mining would inflict irreversible damage to the area's delicate ecosystems, local water supplies, farmland and historical artefacts.
Lithium mining is a lucrative sector with current prices at an all-time high as supplies fail to keep up with soaring demand for battery-powered consumer products such as electric cars and smartphones.
Locals are concerned that a request to renew their licence suggests the company is stepping up efforts to mine the area in the future should significant lithium deposits be found.
So far, 19 pegmatite lithium sources have been discovered by the Blackstairs Lithium Company.
The group also claim no effort has been made to engage with locals on the matter.
Speaking to the Carlow Nationalist, Protect Moylisha Hill Chairperson Anthony McNulty says the committee was formed to give the local community a united voice.
"We do not want our beautiful landscape destroyed, our wildlife and our farmlands affected, our rivers and drinking waters at risk, our tourism and Wicklow Way walkers frightened off by the industrialisation of our countryside, industrialisation for the profit of shareholders who do not care about our environment or our area.”
Images: Used with permission from Protect Moylisha Hill Facebook group