Portugal awaits assessment of lithium mines before launching auction

Portugal awaits assessment of lithium mines before launching auction

Energy Secretary Joao Galamba confirmed that the country will not commit to setting a new date for an auction of lithium mining licences as it awaits the conclusion of ongoing environmental impact studies at two potential mine sites.

Blue View

Portugal has 60kt of known lithium reserves according to the USGS and is an existing producer.  The country’s deposits will be in hot demand, given Europe’s desire to build local, sustainable lithium-ion battery supply chains and the limited options for lithium extraction on the continent. 

An auction has been planned since 2018 but has been delayed owing to concerns about the environmental impact of extraction.  Previous announcements have suggested that environmental assessments conducted by the country’s energy and geology agency analysed eight lithium-rich areas in central and northern Portugal, concluding that there were conditions to move forward with six of them.

Meanwhile, existing projects are undergoing extended environmental impact assessments – notably Savannah Resources’ Mina do Barroso open-pit lithium mine project, which would become Europe’s first significant producer of spodumene. 

  • 22 Sep 2022
  • European Union
  • SA Fluorite
  • Lithium
  • Automotive
  • Batteries

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