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Savannah Resources reports significant resource upgrade for Barroso lithium project in Portugal

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Savannah Resources has recently announced a substantial upgrade to the resource estimate for its Barroso lithium project in Portugal, with 93% of the resources now classified as “indicated.”

This update provides a significant boost of confidence for the project’s definitive feasibility study (DFS), which is currently underway.

Dale Ferguson, Savannah’s technical director, emphasized the importance of this upgrade, noting that resources in the indicated category hold higher significance. He explained, “Our primary objective was to upgrade as much of the tonnage as we can into the Indicated category, which we have achieved.”

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Furthermore, recent drilling results have confirmed additional lithium deposits at the Reservatório and Grandão areas, suggesting the potential for resource expansion. Savannah Resources obtained conditional environmental approval for the project from Portugal’s environmental agency APA last year.

However, there have been legal challenges, as local prosecutors are conducting an investigation into alleged irregularities in lithium and “green” hydrogen deals. In February, prosecutors requested a judge to revoke Barroso’s environmental permit. Despite this, the project’s activities have not been impacted, with Savannah expressing readiness to address the concerns raised by prosecutors.

Savannah, based in London, has been actively seeking partners to advance the Barroso lithium project, which it acquired a 75% interest in back in 2017. The initial capital requirement for the project is estimated at $236 million.

Apart from lithium, the Barroso project is expected to produce feldspar and quartz co-products for the ceramics industry, which will be sold locally and in neighboring Spain.

In line with environmental sustainability goals, Savannah aims to reduce the project’s direct emissions to zero and lower indirect emissions by 54% from the original forecast. Over its estimated 14-year mine life, Barroso is projected to process approximately 1.5 million tonnes per year, based on a resource estimate of 20.5 million tonnes at 1.05% lithium oxide.

The potential annual production of spodumene is estimated at 191,000 tonnes of 5.5%, which Savannah believes can meet a significant portion of Europe’s lithium demand in the coming years.

While Portugal is already Europe’s leading lithium producer, its output is primarily used for ceramics and glassware. This underscores the importance of projects like Barroso in reducing Europe’s reliance on lithium imports from other regions such as Latin America, Australia, and China.

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