Savannah looks to mine 30,000 tonnes of lithium from 2022
The British mining company Savannah is looking to mine around 30,000 tonnes of lithium per annum from 2022.
David Archer, CEO of Savannah Resources told ECO online that lithium production at the Carroso Mine in the north of Portugal could begin by the end of 2022 and could be used in up to 500,000 electric cars a year.
The 30,000 tonnes of lithium would be enough to have powered all the electric cars produced in Europe in 2019.
The production volume (86% destined for export) means that lithium could bring the government in €110.2 million annually in favour of Portugal’s trade balance and create 200 direct jobs when the project is up and running.
The mining activity’s annual GDP contribution stands at an estimated €35 million.
Savannah Resources specialises in prospecting and mining minerals and developing mine assets. The company, which operates all over the world, is quoted on the London Stock Exchange.
Currently, the company is selling its copper assets in Oman and is also looking at mineral projects in Mozambique.
“It is difficult to focus on various fronts at the same time. Our focus will be greater in Portugal” he said in an interview with ECO/Capital Verde.
“We hope to begin lithium production at Barroso at the end of 2022 and achieve a large-scale operation in 2023. This is a good venture because by then the sale of electrical vehicles will increase dramatically,” he said.
“Our annual lithium production will be enough to produce more than half a million electric cars per annum, and reduce 100 million tonnes of CO2. In Portugal we will be producing around 200,000 tonnes of concentrated lithium aluminium inosilicate from which over 30,000 tonnes of lithium can be extracted a year,” said David Archer.
The CEO also revealed that the company plans to put in a competitive tender in Portugal for lithium mining rights and associated minerals in nine other areas of the country, in a competition that the government aims to launch this year.
It also has plans to build a solar-powered station in the north of Portugal to produce enough renewable electrical power to support its mining activities to mine and process 1.5 million tonnes of rock per annum.
As to environmental demonstrations from locals affected by the mining or environmentalists, such as the Association United in the Defence of Covas do Barroso which has been trying to stop the mining company, David Archer says that since 2017 the company has already invested €30 million in phase one involving purchase, evaluation and prospection.
By the end of 2021 it will move forward to a second phase that will last around nine months and will include the construction of a factory (called a washing station) within the mine complex itself to produce concentrated dust (containing 6% lithium oxide) and which will involve a €110 million investment.