Lithium projects in the north of Portugal have attracted the attention of Savannah Resources, which has bought Slipstream Resources Investments to get the rights to exploration. In all, there are four zones that are being exploited by the British company for the lithium prospect.
AIM listed Savannah Resources Plc (AIM: SAV) is a multi-commodity development company focused on building cash generative and profitable mining operations.
The Company operates a strategic portfolio of assets, spanning globally. It has entered into an agreement to acquire a 75% interest in the highly strategic Mina do Barroso prospect in northern Portugal.
With an approved Mining Plan, Environmental Impact Assessment and a 30-year mining concession/Mining Licence, the Company is focussed on defining a JORC resource so that a development decision can be made by the end of 2018. Mina do Barroso is arguably one of the most advanced lithium mining concessions in Europe.
Initial preliminary metallurgical test work indicates that a clean, high quality spodumene product (over 6% Li2O) can be produced from the mineralised rock.
It aims to begin mining lithium in Portugal at the end of 2019, making it the first big producer of the battery mineral in Europe, where rival projects are springing up across the continent.
Savannah says it is in line to be Europe’s first significant producer of spodumene, a hard-rock form of lithium in favour as a relatively quick source of battery grade lithium compared with brines, which can take much longer to process, although analysts say technological advances could change that.
“Late 2019 for a production start is an aggressive target for Savannah but also one which the company thinks is achievable.”
Savannah believes it could bring the Mina do Barroso project into production through a series of open pit mines.
CEO David Archer describes the Mina do Barroso project as one of the “most promising” in Europe, citing its strategic position on the continent and good existing infrastructure. “We believe that hard rock, lithium spodumene deposits like those at Mina do Barroso will be playing the leading role in the upstream part of the lithium value chain going into the 2020s,” said Archer.