What it owns

The group’s asset portfolio encompasses:

  • The Mina do Barroso lithium project in Portugal
  • The Mutamba Mineral Sands project in Mozambique
  • Somero and Erajarvi lithium projects in Finland

How is it doing?

Mina do Barroso contains a resource of 27mln tonnes of ore containing 285,900 tonnes of Li2O at an average grade of 1.06% Li2O, across five orebodies.

The resources also contain significant quartz and feldspar.

Though lithium is the main target, these by-products have the potential to provide a significant additional income stream, Savannah said.

Savannah has “second mover advantage” as it applies lessons learned from the first wave of Australian lithium developments to its Portuguese project.

The project is attracting interest from potential industry partners and off-takers as well as an opportunity to develop a lithium conversion plant in Portugal, which would allow the company to “lock-down from end-to-end the whole lithium value chain in Europe”.

In July 2020, a report by professors from a local university indicated that the project would add around EUR1.2bn to Portugal’s gross output.

The report built on the results of a 2018 scoping study and highlighted the importance of Mina do Barroso to the European battery supply chain.

In November, Savannah said it has submitted additional and revised information in response to the anticipated request it received from Agencia Portuguesa do Ambiente (APA), the Portuguese regulatory body.

At Mutamba in Mozambique, Savannah holds 20% stake in a joint venture with Rio Tinto, with the opportunity to increase its stake to 35% by delivering a pre-feasibility study and to 51% by delivering a feasibility study.

It has received the third and final licence until 2024, with a possible 25-year extension, paving the way for development.

What the boss says: David Archer, chief executive

“Once the [Mina Do Barosso] EIA document’s conformity has been confirmed by APA in the coming weeks it will be published by APA as part of the public consultation process.

“We look forward to the public release of the study in due course which will provide all stakeholders with a highly comprehensive, fact-based, overview of the project’s design, construction, operation and decommissioning in relation to the environment and local communities.”

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Inflexion points

  • Definitive feasibility study for Mina Do Barroso
  • European initiative to develop electric battery capacity in Europe should aid Savannah
  • By the year 2025, European lithium-ion batteries are expected to represent a market worth EUR250bn annually

What the broker says: finnCap

Mina do Barroso is underpinned by its strategic value to the European Union as it is the only large-scale lithium spodumene project in Europe, says the broker.

Lithium chemicals are in demand by Europe’s fast-growing battery manufacturing sector.

The industry will need to import some raw materials from outside the region, but the European Commission’s is to “boost primary and secondary production from European sources” such as Barroso.

How development progresses, in terms of permitting, technical studies and funding, will help determine Savannah’s performance over the next 12 months.

“A large part of this progress is funding, and Savannah received a significant boost in May when it signed an agreement with the EU-backed organisation EIT InnoEnergy.”

“EIT InnoEnergy has invested EUR570m in the sustainable energy sector and represents a proven source of direct and indirect/introduced funding for projects like Barroso.”

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