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Savannah Resources developing broad portfolio of international assets

Snapshot

  • Multi-commodity mine developer
  • Flagship lithium project in Portugal
  • Grant of mining permits means Oman copper assets likely to be put into another entity
  • Mozambique (mineral sands) and Finland (lithium)
Mina do Barroso

Quick facts: Savannah Resources PLC

Price: 2.1 GBX

AIM:SAV
Market: AIM
Market Cap: £27.28 m
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What it owns

The group’s asset portfolio encompasses:

  • The Mina do Barroso lithium project in Portugal
  • Block 4 and 5 Copper projects in Oman
  • The Mutamba Mineral Sands project in Mozambique
  • Somero and Eräjärvi 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 contains 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 €1.2bn 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 Oman, Savannah’s subsidiary has been awarded two licences to mine at Mahab 4 and Maqail South.

“These are the type of high-grade copper deposits that are characteristic of the Oman Ophiolite Belt and will be in the vanguard of new copper mine developments in Oman, “ said Archer.

The pair will be the first new mines in Oman for ten years, but developing two projects at the same time will be a stretch for Savannah, so Archer wants to set up a new entity for the copper mines.

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

"We are pleased that the EIA presents a comprehensive body of fact based evidence which shows that Mina do Barroso can be a ‘low impact’ project, minimising disturbance to both the natural environment and local communities while also maximising the very significant socio-economic benefits the project can bring to the local area and Portugal as a whole. We are committed to developing and operating Mina do Barroso in a responsible and sustainable way so that the lithium from the project enters the battery supply chain with a minimal carbon footprint and so maximising the long term environmental benefits the metal can bring in the fight against climate change." 

 

Watch the video 

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 €250bn 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 €570m in the sustainable energy sector and represents a proven source of direct and indirect/introduced funding for projects like Barroso.”

Finncap has a share price target of 10.5p.

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Watch

Excellent results from both projects despite delays, says Savannah Resources Plc

Savannah Resources Plc (LON:SAV) chief executive officer David Archer says the group is intent on moving forward after delays at its Oman projects. “We’ve said some very harsh words to our drilling contractor and we’re looking to a speedy and less problematic programme from here,” says...

on 08/04/2016

4 min read