The prominent mining firm Savannah Resources has announced that its latest estimates place northern Portugal’s Mina do Barroso lithium ore reserves at around 14 million tonnes of hard rock lithium — a figure around 52% larger than that provided by earlier estimates of the reserves located there.
In relation to that news, the company also stated that the project could thus end up being the first Western European lithium mining project to come online in recent times — a statement that boosted the company’s shares by 13%.
That all noted, the company’s plans are now to make a definite development decision on the project by early 2019 or so, company execs have revealed.
“We believe that Mina do Barroso has the potential to be a key piece of Europe’s emerging lithium value chain,” explained Savannah Resources CEO David Archer. “Spodumene concentrate (from hard rock lithium) is the dominant lithium product that is traded internationally, and with no current European producer we believe that Portugal could be the first European supplier.”
Reuters provides more information: “Other projects in Europe include Rio Tinto’s lithium project in Serbia, which is not expected to start production until the next decade. Rio Tinto and Savannah also have a joint venture in Mozambique.
“Meanwhile, Germany has the Zinnwald project in which Bacanora Minerals has a 50% interest. In Britain, the government has leant support to work to develop lithium from brine springs.”
Elsewhere, of course, it’s the case that much interest centers around Chile’s lithium resources — which are already the source of a large portion of the world’s total lithium supplies.