21 Sep 2023 10:36

Ministry expects Russia to be processing own lithium in near future

NOVOSIBIRSK. Sept 21 (Interfax) - Russia might start processing lithium mined in the country in the near future, the deputy director of the metallurgy and materials department at the Industry and Trade Ministry, Vladislav Demidov said.

"I think that within the next two years we will have the possibility - I'm not saying that this will be large-scale commercial production - to process our own mineral resources," Demidov said at a talk on the "prospects of creating a complete lithium chain" that was held in Novosibirsk on Thursday.

He recalled that several lithium mining projects are being carried out in Russia and the country's has processing facilities. In addition, new cathode materials are being actively developed in Russia, Demidov said.

However, the director of special chemicals at nuclear fuel company TVEL, Mikhail Metelkin said Russia will be processing its own lithium in five to ten years. Lithium is used in batteries, including for electric vehicles.

Deputy Prime Minister and Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov said in an interview with Interfax earlier that Russia plans to fully supply itself with domestic rare metals (RM) and rare-earth elements (REE) by 2030 and will devote particular attention to developing production of lithium, domestic demand for which will be covered earlier, by 2025.

He said particular attention will be devoted to creating a resource base for lithium, which is now imported and then processed in Russia.

Pilot processing of the tailings of the Zavitinskoye lithium deposit in Transbaikal Territory might begin as early as this year, and there are plans to mine lithium at the Talanguiskaya prospect in Transbaikal Territory and to implement a project at the Yaraktinskoye oil and gas condensate field, Manturov said, adding that a number of other mining projects are planned in the long term.