Portuguese government creates working group to assess the possibility of producing lithium

  • ECO News
  • 4 December 2016

The Portuguese government has created a working group to identify lithium deposits in Portugal and also to “assess the possibility of producing” the metal.

The government has created a working group whose goal is to “identify and characterize the number of lithium mineral deposits in Portugal” and the economic activities associated with them, as well as “assess the possibility to of producing lithium metal”, the state secretariat for Energy disclosed in a press release, this Thursday, following the order approval by the secretary of state of Energy Jorge Seguro Sanches. The evaluation work’s conclusions will be presented by the end of March of 2017.

Lithium is one of Portugal’s assets used to attract the new Tesla factory to the country, since Portugal is one of the many countries in the running towards achieving this investment. Portugal is a very important exporter of lithium, holding some of the most relevant mines that explore the material essential to the production of the batteries for electric cars. Creating this working group could be perceived as way to convince the founder of the North-American company, Elon Musk, to choose Portugal.

This group – whose conclusions “should be presented by March 31, 2017” – will be coordinated by Cristina Vieira Lourenço, deputy director general of the General Directorate for Energy and Geology. The group will include representatives from the LNEG (National Laboratory for Energy and Geology), the mining company EDM, ANIET (employers association representing the Extractive and Transforming Industries) and also from ASSIMAGRA (Portuguese Association for the Industry of Marbles and Granites).

Quoted in the press release, the secretary of state of Energy Jorge Seguro Sanches mentioned that “the potential of Portugal’s geological resources as an economic development factor – with a growing strategical importanceis determinant for promoting and valuing the natural materials existent in the country”.

The secretariat for Energy also discloses that the lithium minerals extracted in Portugal “are exclusively meant for the ceramic industry; they are only used as a mere melting material, which means companies will save much on their energetic bill”.