• 3 minutes Will Iron-Air batteries REALLY change things?
  • 7 minutes Natural gas mobility for heavy duty trucks
  • 11 minutes NordStream2
  • 2 hours GREEN NEW DEAL = BLIZZARD OF LIES
  • 13 hours Evergrande is going Belly Up.
  • 4 hours U.S. Presidential Elections Status - Electoral Votes
  • 16 hours World’s Biggest Battery In California Overheats, Shuts Down
  • 5 hours Monday 9/13 - "High Natural Gas Prices Today Will Send U.S. Production Soaring Next Year" by Irina Slav
  • 7 hours Poland Expands LNG Powered Trucking and Fueling Stations
  • 2 days And now, hybrid electric locomotives...
  • 2 days Ozone layer destruction driving global warming
  • 2 days The unexpected loss of output from wind turbines compels UK to turn to an alternative; It's not what you think!
  • 2 days The coming Cyber Attack
  • 2 days Is the Republican Party going to perpetuate lies about the 2020 election and attempt to whitewash what happened on January 6th?
  • 2 days 'Get A Loan,' Commerce Chief Tells Unpaid Federal Workers
  • 2 days The Painful Death of Coal
Democrats Divided On Biden’s $3.5 Trillion Green Energy Plan

Democrats Divided On Biden’s $3.5 Trillion Green Energy Plan

Divisions are deepening between Democratic…

Renewable Energy Consumption Has Tripled In 10 Years

Renewable Energy Consumption Has Tripled In 10 Years

Though global energy consumption fell…

Are Saudi Arabia’s Green Energy Plans Realistic?

Are Saudi Arabia’s Green Energy Plans Realistic?

Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest…

Ag Metal Miner

Ag Metal Miner

MetalMiner is the largest metals-related media site in the US according to third party ranking sites. With a preemptive global perspective on the issues, trends,…

More Info

Premium Content

Europe’s Untapped Lithium Sources

We normally associate Cornwall in England with scones and cream teas … or, if we are really metal nerds, we associate the sometimes-sunny southeast country of the British Isles with mining (particularly with tin mining).

The area dominated with igneous morphology has been mined since Roman times for tin, copper and a number of other metals.

But one metal, not surprisingly, that has never featured is lithium. I say “not surprisingly” because up to the end of the last century, it barely featured as a metal of value.

Nickel metal hydride batteries dominated the small appliance world and lead acid still served the rest. This century has seen an exponential growth in the use of lithium-ion batteries, from iPhones to electric cars to massive storage barns. The growth has been such that fears are mounting of a market shortage in the next decade, fueled in no small part by state support for electric vehicles (EVs) in Asia.

In fact, so urgent has the situation become that Chinese and Japanese battery makers are quietly buying into or buying up lithium deposits around the world to ensure they have secure supplies. Currently, Europe consumes around 25 percent of the world’s lithium, but is dependent on imports from Australia, Chile, Argentina and China.

Europe has been rather slow out of the blocks — European carmakers have ambitious plans to roll out an EV model for every one of their ranges by the end of this decade, but they have little or no security of supply over the raw material supply chain. Two AIM-listed companies are seeking to change that and create Europe’s first continental supplies.

In Cornwall, Cornish Lithium has partnered with the state-backed Satellite Applications Catapult to use satellite imaging to detect the signatures left by lithium deposits deep underground. Lithium is present in brines deep underground, up to 1 kilometer underground, according to a Telegraph article. Cornwall Cornish Lithium hopes the survey will identify economic deposits, and Innovate UK agrees, investing well over a $1 million in a pilot.

Across the Bay of Biscay in the considerably warmer but no less back of beyond northern region of Portugal, another opportunity is being created. AIM-listed Savannah Resources has announced a 52 percent upgrade to its proven resources at the Mina do Barroso lithium project in northern Portugal, The Telegraph explains. Related: How Much Iranian Oil Can Trump Disrupt?

The proposed mine would comprise a resource of 14 million tons at more than 1 percent lithium, putting it in the “high grade” category, with an expected lifespan of 30 years. 1 percent does not sound like a rich deposit — some gold reserves are more concentrated — but brines in South America typically carry 200–1,400 milligrams per litre (mg/l) Li, when pumped to the surface and concentrated by evaporation in a succession of artificial ponds. It can take between a few months and a year, depending on the climate, to reach a concentrate of 1 percent to 2 percent Li so that the solution can be further processed in a chemical plant to yield lithium carbonate and lithium metal, the U.S. Geological Survey reports.

The technology for refining these hard-rock “spodumene” deposits is well established, so considering the size of the resource and its location in the heart of the E.U., funding should not be a major hurdle.

Combined, the two projects could see the E.U. become more self-reliant for lithium supplies. Plus, it would be less exposed to overseas suppliers and extended supply chains for what is becoming an increasingly important raw material.

By AG Metal Miner

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:


Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage





Leave a comment

Leave a comment




EXXON Mobil -0.35
Open57.81 Trading Vol.6.96M Previous Vol.241.7B
BUY 57.15
Sell 57.00
Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News