Chamber member and mineral resource development company Savannah Resources have recently announced that the Portuguese authorities have approved its environmental impact assessment (EIA) for what could become Western Europe’s largest lithium mine, calling the step a “major milestone” for the project.
London-based Savannah received preliminary approval for the EIA for its Barroso open-pit mine from Portugal’s APA environment regulator in 2021, but had to make changes demanded by the authority and resubmitted it earlier this year.
A positive EIA allows the company to progress to the next stages of the process, including the publication of a new scoping study and a social impact assessment, Savannah said. The company expects the remaining steps of the environmental licensing process to take nine to 12 months to complete. It hopes to receive its final environmental licence in 2024.
Portugal is Europe’s biggest lithium producer, but its existing miners sell almost exclusively to the ceramics industry and are only now preparing to produce the higher-grade lithium that is used in electric cars and to power electronic appliances.