To purchase this space contact Gordon

Dutch miner AMG has acquired a 15.77% stake in London-based Savannah Resources to become the largest shareholder in the company that is developing a lithium project in northern Portugal, the companies said on Thursday.

Savannah CEO Emanuel Proenca said the £16-million investment represented a “huge de-risking step”, describing AMG as the “ideal partner” because of its own lithium business that serves Europe’s battery and electric vehicle (EV) sector.

The project, which has faced strong opposition from local residents and environmentalists, is widely seen as a test for the European Union’s ambition to reduce its dependence on countries such as China for key raw materials.

Savannah wants to build four open-pit lithium mines in the Barroso region, extracting enough lithium each year for around half a million EV batteries. It hopes to start production in 2026.

AMG and Savannah have also agreed to study the possibility of building a refinery in Portugal or Spain to turn spodumene into lithium carbonate.

AMG said the deal gives it a seat on Savannah’s board of directors and a five-year offtake of 45 000 t/y of spodumene, a mineral that contains lithium, extendable to 90 000 t over 10 years.