Investing in minerals
Two companies in particular are investing heavily in new mining projects in the region. Lithium Australia (LA) recently completed exploratory drilling at Sadisdorf and has since acquired the entire site, along with another exploration project at nearby Hegelshöhe. LA estimates Sadisdorf could yield 25,000 tons of lithium carbonate a year over the next 10 years and is pushing ahead with plans to be fully operational there by 2021.While earlier this year, Deutsche Lithium and its Canadian partner Bacanora Minerals took over another major mining concession at nearby Falkenhain. “We are talking about 500,000 tons of lithium carbonate, which can only be extracted from this deposit on the German side,” says Deutsche Lithium’s MD Armin Müller. “The battery of an electric car needs about 50 kilograms of this material. This means that we can equip around 10 million vehicles with these deposits.”
In its refined form, lithium is shipped to the main power cell producing countries: the U.S., China, Japan, and South Korea in particular. LA’s CEO Adrian Griffin notes: “We are in the backyard of the most rapidly expanding consumption of lithium outside China, with most European vehicle manufacturers announcing their plans to go electric. The synergies are obvious.”
If the global automotive industry is to swing away from fossil fuels to electric power, vast quantities of lithium and other raw minerals will be needed: it’s an exciting time again for mining in Saxony.