The largest lithium mine in Europe will be in Spain: the Las Navas deposit, close to seeing the light

Lithium Iberia has submitted to the Junta de Extremadura an exploitation project for the lithium deposit located in the Cañaveral municipality of Cáceres. If approved, Spain would have a farm by 2025 that, due to its size and volume of extraction, will be the largest in Europe.

Based on the project presented by the company that is postulated as the executor of the plan, the necessary investment to be able to carry out the operation will be 340 million euros. With regard to the last project presented, in addition, Lithium Iberia has gone from foreseeing an extraction that would last for 19 years to a total of 30 years, of which the first six would be in the open, and the rest underground.

By the time the location is fully operational, it will directly employ 430 people between workers at the mine and the adjacent plant, while it is expected that indirectly, the impact is about 1,100 more workers.

In terms of production volume, the Las Navas mine (as the area in which the extraction is planned is known) will be capable of extracting 1.2 million tons of material annually, which will give rise to 30,000 tons of lithium sulfate usable for electric car batteries.

Open pit lithium mine.
Open pit lithium mine.

If this revision of the project is approved, Las Navas mine could start supplying manufacturers with lithium by 2025a date that perfectly coincides with the PERTE materialization for the development of the Electric and Connected Vehicle and the series of electric cars that the Volkswagen Group will produce in Spain with batteries from the confirmed factory in Sagunto, whose work is scheduled to begin by 2026.

As in any mining operation, there are ecological brakes and conditions that affect the way in which the operation will be carried out. To begin with, the mine will feed on photovoltaic energy from a plant which they intend to locate in the municipality of Holguera, approximately 16 kilometers from where the extraction is planned.

Restoration of the land in phases is also planned throughout the life of the project. Already in the first year of extraction the first restoration work will begin, while in the third year the restoration of part of the open-pit mine will begin. Another step is contemplated in the eighth year already, since the permanent dump will be fully restored as well as the temporary deposit, as announced The Spanish.

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