Russia planning lithium production push – Deputy PM
Russia will completely cover its domestic demand for rare earth metals by 2030, while industrial needs for lithium will be met even earlier, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov announced on Monday.
In an interview with the Interfax news agency, he noted that Russia possesses one of the world’s largest reserves of minerals including rare and rare earth metals.
“We are the world’s second after China. The domestic raw material base is capable of meeting current and future needs of Russian industry, including through the commissioning of new deposits and building the most complete cycle of raw materials processing,” said Manturov, the head of the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Russia will put a major focus on lithium production as the country seeks to become one of the world’s top producers of the “white gold” and “has no problems with processing” the metal, according to the official.
The country has vast deposits of lithium, Manturov said, revealing plans to launch extraction of the mineral at several deposits in Russia’s Far Eastern Zabaikalsky Krai this year.
“We have necessary capacity for lithium processing at several plants. The total volume of lithium production will fully cover domestic demand by 2025 and by 2030 it will simultaneously meet both domestic needs and exports,” the deputy PM stated.
In April, the head of the Russian Industry and Trade Ministry's metallurgy department, Vladislav Vasiliyev, announced plans to launch the first production of lithium feedstock by 2026.
“If we achieve full capacity within three years, we will not only be import-independent, we will have excess production volumes,” he said.
There is growing demand for Lithium around the world as it is used to make batteries that are vital for most consumer electronics and electric vehicles. Moreover, lithium is deemed to be a "pillar for the fossil-fuel free economy" by the United Nations, as it is expected to be the primary way to store energy in the clean power grids of the future.
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