Savannah Resources hails 'encouraging' test work at Portugal's Mina do Barroso lithium project

by John Shepherd
Mina do Barroso lithium project. Inset: Savannah Resources CEO David Archer and testing work at the site in 2018. Photos: Savannah Resources
Savannah Resources has said early results from latest metallurgical testing at its Mina do Barroso lithium project, in northern Portugal, indicates the potential for lower capital and operating costs.

Savannah’s CEO, David Archer, said the results were "very encouraging” for the developer’s quest to serve Europe’s accelerating electric vehicles battery market – as the region’s "most significant producer of spodumene lithium”.

Initial results from pilot-scale dense media separation (DMS) indicate that 20% to 25% of the plant feed can be excluded utilising a single stage of DMS pre-concentration, which Savannah said meant a large portion of the waste material can be rejected before the spodumene flotation stage of the process.

"Removal of up to one quarter of the ore feed going into the flotation circuit could have significant positive implications for the capital and operating costs of this section of the concentrator and the project overall,” Archer said.

'Resurgent lithium market'

"The global lithium market has enjoyed a resurgence in recent months, with raw material prices rising rapidly as demand from the battery and electric vehicle markets grow,” Archer said.

"Against this backdrop, 2021 is going to be a very busy year for Savannah as we look to secure Mina do Barroso’s position in the rapidly evolving European lithium battery value chain.”

Savannah took an initial 75% stake in the project in May 2017 and has since become the sole owner.

The project could become "the first significant lithium producer in Europe”, Savannah said. The project has a current 27Mt mineral resource, "which remains open to further expansion – and robust project economics, established infrastructure, and preliminary metallurgical test work indicating that a battery grade (6% Li2O), clean, low iron, spodumene concentrate can be produced”.

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