Savannah, the British company developing a lithium mine in Boticas, Vila Real district, continues to seek investors despite recent legal scrutiny. An official source from the company confirmed to JE that the Barroso Lithium project is proceeding without any constraints.
Cooperation with Authorities and Investor Search Efforts
While the company and its executives have not been charged following the early November searches, Savannah has been cooperating fully with the authorities. Simultaneously, the company is actively working with Barclays and Barrenjoey Advisory, which were appointed on November 6 to attract investors. These entities continue their roles as planned, focusing on leveraging their expertise in the lithium sector.
Strategic Partnerships and Market Position
Savannah aims to engage with potential strategic partners to further develop the project, enhancing opportunities and capabilities. Despite a year-over-year decrease in share value, the company remains committed to advancing the project, supported by its financial advisors’ significant experience in the sector.
Interest from Potential Buyers
The Aethel Mining fund, co-founded by Portuguese businessman Ricardo Santos Silva, has shown interest in purchasing the project. This aligns with Savannah’s strategy to support investment in lithium, a key component of a national value chain potentially worth nine billion euros.
Government’s Stance on Environmental Assessments
The Portuguese Minister for the Environment recently defended the legality of environmental assessments for lithium projects in Parliament. He emphasized the compliance of lithium mines with legal requirements and urged continued support for investment in this sector. The minister highlighted the importance of not creating a climate of suspicion around such projects.
Pending Legal Evaluation and Tender Process
The future of the lithium tender, initially planned for early 2024, is now under evaluation. This process pertains to lithium research in predefined areas, with the two projects in Boticas and Montalegre having received positive environmental assessments, subject to conditions.
Allegations Involving Government Officials and Corporate Partnerships
Recent allegations have surfaced regarding potential undue influence by former government officials to facilitate Galp’s entry into Savannah Lithium and its partnership with Northvolt. The ongoing legal proceedings and investigations are closely monitored as they may impact the project’s trajectory and partnerships.