Mining companies producing lithium laid eyes on Portugal. This country without much fanfare, has become Europe’s largest manufacturer of raw materials for the production of batteries, which is called “white oil.”
One such company is Savannah Resources, which is currently promoting his project Mina do Barroso in the North of the country, which may be one of the most advanced concessions for the extraction of lithium in Europe. According to the company, this mine will be the first on the continent the largest producer of spodumene, a heavy breed of lithium.
“We are in a unique position,” says Executive Director of Savannah Resources David Archer. – Mina do Barroso contains Europe’s largest reserves of spodumene – 20.1 million tons, with the content of the lithium oxide 1.04%”. In this project, according to Archer, the project has good local infrastructure, including port Leixoes, the second largest in Portugal.
Thus, in the field of spodumene contains about 200 thousand tons of lithium oxide, said resource is Oil Price. Furthermore, the results of metallurgical tests allowed to obtain a 6% Li2O concentrate with a low content of impurities, which, according to Archer, is ideal for electric batteries.
The only drawback of the project is that according to experts, the extraction of lithium from granite rock Portugal costs about 2.5 times more expensive than the deposits of Chile, home to some of the world’s largest reserves of the white metal.
And then there is Bolivia, which is in first place in the world reserves of lithium. The main field of the country – Salar de Uyuni – covers an area of 10.58 thousand square kilometers and is the world’s largest salt plain.
Moreover, the concentration of lithium in this field exceed the average by several times. And the total reserves of raw materials to Uyuni is estimated at 5-9 million tons.
Many of the world’s experts are convinced that the whole world was lithium energy revolution, just don’t want to miss. On the wave of Latin American countries, quite a medium for economic development, can become energy superpowers such as Saudi Arabia, analysts say the Agency Dow Jones.
In recent years, the demand for lithium is growing galloping pace. The reason for this is the increasingly expanding sector of the production of lithium-ion batteries, which are used not only in gadgets but also in the automotive industry and in fast-growing sector storage of electricity.
The Economist has called Li “the hottest commodity in the world.” The price of pure lithium carbonate has increased twice. And among consumers of lithium the battle unfolds for the supply of this valuable material. As a result, according to conservative projections, by 2021 the world will need 100 thousand tons of lithium carbonate.
New plants for the production of lithium batteries is expected to raise the capacity of global lithium industry by 150% by 2020. While the annual rate of growth of the electric car market will be, according to analysts, 20-30%. Thus, the rise in demand for “white oil” in the foreseeable future will have no ceiling.
Most modern sources agree on the fact that almost half the world’s reserves of lithium are concentrated in the Central part of South America, mainly in Bolivia – the poorest country in the region, and not just anywhere, but under the vast expanses of the Bolivian desert.
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