Russia may start development of the country’s largest lithium deposit
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Rosatom and Nornickel have entered into an agreement providing possibility of joint development of the Kolmozerskoye lithium deposit, the Murmansk Region, and further deep processing of lithium raw materials.

The Kolmozerskoye deposit is the largest in Russia. Its reserves reach 18.9% of all domestic reserves. This is the most potentially productive lithium ore deposit in Russia, which is currently in the unallocated fund.

It is planned to create a joint venture with distribution of equal shares between the participants and the parity principles of corporate governance, which will participate in the auction for the Kolmozerskoye deposit license, having combined the partners’ assets and competencies.

Extraction of raw materials will make possible creation of the first domestic production of lithium-containing products, as well as production of traction lithium-ion batteries. So, complementation of each other’s capabilities and assets, interaction between the State Corporation Rosatom and Nornickel will accelerate construction of a full-cycle energy storage industry.

Nornickel products have long played an important role in creation of energy storage devices. Expanding our range of metals with such an important and sought-after raw material as lithium, we are going to strengthen our position as the key supplier to the battery industry. Cooperation between Rosatom and Nornickel will enable the Russian industry to take a step forward in development of its own production of efficient modern batteries,” Vladimir Potanin, Nornickel President said.

The lithium reserves in Russia amount to one million tons, as it follows from the data of the US Geological Survey (USGS). The world leader in reserves is Bolivia (21 million tons), which is, on this indicator, ahead of Argentina (19 million tons), Chile (9.8 million tons) and Australia (7.3 million tons) – the countries accounting for over 80 percent of the global lithium production (67,000 tons out of 82.500 tons, according to the 2020 USGS estimates). China is also a major producer (with its global share of 16%).

Global lithium production during 2015-2020 more than doubled (from 32.500 tons to 82.500 tons). One of the key reasons was the boom in electric vehicles: sales of electric cars and plug-in hybrids increased six-fold over that period (from 543,000 to 3.24 million units), according to the industry portal EV-Volumes. The share of electric vehicles in the global passenger car sales increased from 0.6% in 2015 to 4.2% in 2020.

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