Savannah Resources Plc has appointed Hatch to conduct a scoping study of a potential mine development for the Mina do Barroso lithium project in Portugal. The study will investigate a potential mining and concentration plant development based on three spodumene deposits. Mina do Barroso looks to be one of Europe’s most promising lithium projects.
Demand for lithium chemicals is growing rapidly, as lithium ion batteries are driving the evolution of electric vehicles and mass power storage to provide global consumers with better, more sustainable options. Projects like Mina do Barroso are critical to meeting these emerging market needs and support a global desire to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
David Archer, Savannah chief executive, said: "We are delighted to have partnered with Hatch. They have a wealth of experience in much of the lithium value chain and have specific and very relevant knowledge of spodumene deposit developments, like that proposed for Mina do Barroso. We expect the scoping study to be the precursor to the launch of a definitive feasibility study later this year."
Located in northern Portugal, the project offers significant and attractive near-term production potential. It has a 9.1Mt inferred mineral resource and established infrastructure, and preliminary metallurgical test work indicates that a high-grade, clean, low-iron lithium concentrate can be produced. In late February, Savannah Resources reported a 200 percent increase in resource at Mina do Barroso.
“We are very proud to partner with Savannah Resources on this important project,” said Caroline Palmer, project manager at Hatch. “The growing need for battery production around the world is driving increased demand for local supply of component commodities, primarily lithium. Mina do Barroso will be strategically important in serving the expanding European market and aligns with our vision of creating a better world through positive change.”
The initial resource figure of 9.1Mt is based on the Grandao, NOA, and Reservatorio deposits, three of at least eight pegmatite deposits on the Mina do Barroso Mining Lease, and one of three deposits currently being drilled. This indicates that there is significant expansion potential.
The scoping study will include the following areas of mine development: project setting, geology and resource description, mining, processing, infrastructure, market review, cost estimates, human resources, environmental, social aspects, project risk review and project development schedule. Results of the study are expected to be available towards the end of Q2 2018.