Savannah Resources Plc (LON:SAV) Chief Executive Officer David Archer caught up with DirectorsTalk for an exclusive interview to discuss their outstanding lithium results in Portugal, the next steps for the project and other projects in their portfolio.
Q1: You announced outstanding lithium results today from your drill program in Portugal, can you tell us a bit more about the results, what they mean for Savannah and a bit of background to the project if you could?
A1: Well, first of all, it really provides Savannah Resources’ shareholders with a white Christmas, these lithium pegmatites are white material so we’re certainly celebrating.
The results really do represent some of the best intersections ever reported for a European deposit of spodumene, so we see them as being very significant and we see them to be results that are very much hard to better. We’ve got intersections over 100 metres in length and grades over 2% Li₂O so it doesn’t get much better than that.
What’s more is that we’ve identified Grandao as the most significant of the deposits on our mining lease and we’re going furiously ahead with our drilling around that at the moment.
Q2: When do you hope to deliver a JORC resource for the project?
A2: We’ve indicated that the first JORC resource will be around the Reservatorio deposit, we announced some results on that a month or so ago and we should have that, if you like, starter or maiden resource out sometime next week. That will be very much the Mark I version of the overall resource that we’ll be able to report for the Mina do Barroso project and we believe they’ll be a number of further iterations going into the new year.
Q3: You have a mining license already for the Portuguese asset, what are the next steps?
A3: That’s certainly very significant that we do have a mining lease, it gives us an enormous head start in terms of taking the project forward towards production.
In terms of next steps, we’re probably looking to bring on a second drill rig to help with the resource definition programme that’ll be on-site in the early part of the new year. We’ve also got a very extensive round of metallurgical test work that’s underway at the moment in Perth and we hope to be announcing the results for that in the new year as well.
So, certainly a very active programme in the valuation and the results that we reported today only spur us on to move this project forward very quickly and we see the project as really being one of the foundation stones for a vibrant lithium value-added chain in Europe.
Q4: We know Savannah Resources isn’t a one-trick pony, can you tell us a bit more about the other projects in your portfolio and what stages they’re at?
A4: Well, we’ve certainly been keeping ourselves busy in other geographies as well.
Firstly, in Oman, we’re now coming very close to the successful conclusion of our mine licensing in Oman around the receipt of final ministerial approvals. Once we have those and the final mining lease issued, we’ll be moving into mining and production in 2018 of high grade copper concentrates.
Secondly, the other major project is of course is our Mozambique heavy minerals sands project, in joint venture with Rio Tinto plc (LON:RIO). We’re undertaking a pre-feasibility study on that project at the moment and we’re also moving forward to applying for a mining lease over that project. We’ve also been doing a lot of work with both the government and community over the last few weeks and had a very very successful week in Mozambique engaging with local community and opening our pilot plant.
So, in summary, we’re certainly very busy at Savannah and delighted that we’re finishing on a very high note with these lithium results in Portugal.