Mina do Barroso
Savannah has the potential to become the first significant lithium producer in Europe thanks to its Mina do Barroso Project in northern Portugal. With a granted Mining Lease (valid until 2036, extendable for 20 years), a 9.1Mt Inferred Mineral Resource with further upside, established infrastructure, and preliminary metallurgical test work indicating that a high-grade (over 6% Li2O), clean, low iron lithium concentrate can be produced, Mina do Barroso offers significant and very attractive near-term production potential. Savannah acquired a 75% interest in the project in May 2017.
Based on results received to date Savannah believes Mina do Barroso is the closest European analogue to the very successful Australian hard-rock, open cut mine developments, which produce highly sought-after lithium spodumene concentrates for international markets.
The project has a current Mineral Resource of 9.1Mt at 1.03% Li₂O containing 94,100t of Li₂O. This initial figure is for 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, meaning there is significant expansion potential. Indeed, an initial Exploration Target* has been defined for the Grandao and Reservatorio deposits of 8-12Mt at 1.0% to 1.2% Li₂O. This gives a project target (including Mineral Resources) of 17-21Mt at 1.0-1.2% Li₂O.
*Cautionary Statement: The potential quantity and grade of the Exploration Targets is conceptual in nature, there has been insufficient exploration work to estimate a mineral resource and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in defining a mineral resource.
It is Savannah's intention to be in a position to make a decision for mine development by as early as Q4 2018. Whilst a stretch targetTo be able to advance a project from acquisition to making a development decision within two years will undoubtedly be a significant achievement. Hard rock lithium production has been identified as the key for future lithium supply and Savannah believe Mina do Barroso's strategic location and near-term production potential will make its product highly sought after.
In support of this Savannah's current focus is to complete a scoping study around a potential mine development, which should then feed into feasibility studies in Q2 2018. Alongside this, work has begun to modify the licencing conditions under the Mining Lease Savannah currently has for the project; the Company has the right to mine approximately 7Mt of lithium, quartz and feldspar ore from seven mining nucleos, but will need to modify this for the extraction of additional tonnages and to build a plant specific to lithium processing.
The Company is also looking to secure offtakes with existing spodumene lithium converters.
Additional Resource Potential
Mina do Barroso is one of a number of areas within an 1,018km2 tenement portfolio operated by Savannah comprising both exploration license applications and the Mining Lease. This larger land package covers areas with existing identified pegmatites that could host lithium mineralisation.
Mainland Europe currently consumes around 24% of the world's lithium and is an early adopter of EVs and battery storage solutions. With battery production by major European manufacturers rapidly expanding, any potential local supplies from mainland Europe are being keenly sought; Savannah believes that the Mina do Barroso, together with its portfolio of lithium exploration areas, is ideally positioned to address this strategic need.