26 Dec 2022 11:27

Kolmozerskoye lithium field license auction expected in 2023, starting price 1.562 bln rubles

MOSCOW. Dec 26 (Interfax) - An auction for the rights to the Kolmozerskoye lithium deposit in Russia's Murmansk region is due to take place in 2023, with a starting price of 1.562 billion rubles.

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has signed the relevant order.

The Natural Resources Ministry had estimated the starting price at 590 million rubles. The initial estimate was 310 million rubles.

The deposit contains niobium, tantalum and beryllium besides lithium. The Natural Resources Ministry has put it up for auction but no interested parties could be found due to the hefty starting price, the ministry has said.

Reports said in the summer of 2021 that Atomredmetzoloto or ARMZ planned to mine lithium in Russia and possibly to take part in such projects abroad. The Kommersant newspaper said the company might start mining lithium compounds in the Murmansk and Irkutsk regions by 2030, investing more than 50 billion rubles and producing up to 50,000 tonnes per year.

Rosatom and MMC Norilsk Nickel signed an agreement in April this year on joint projects to develop the Kolmozerskoye lithium deposit in the Murmansk region and to process the lithium raw material mined there. The LLC Polar Lithium joint venture was registered in Moscow in July this year.

Kolmozerskoye contains 18.9% of Russia's lithium reserves, and is the country's most promising lithium deposit.

Probable P1 lithium oxide resources are 152,600 tonnes, tantalum pentoxide 1,215,000 tonnes and niobium pentoxide 1,485,000 tonnes, according to the prime minister's order.

Russia does not currently mine lithium.