Mali expects to start producing lithium in 2020 as mineral discoveries mount

WEST Africa’s Mali is positioned to become an important producer of lithium, a mineral increasingly in demand owing to the proliferation of lithium ion batteries in electric vehicles, said Reuters.

Citing Yaya Djire, geology department chief at Mali’s mines ministry, Reuters said lithium discoveries were expected to increase in the country. Some 694,000 tonnes of the mineral in exploitable reserves had been discovered and production could start in 2020.

The Goulamina and Bougoni projects in Mali, owned by Australian mineral explorer Birimian and Britain’s Kodal Minerals respectively, have discovered reserves of over 48 million tonnes of ore including 694,000 tonnes of lithium, said Reuters.

“Since 2017, a dozen exploration permits have been delivered to companies, all located in the mining area of Bougouni (about 150 km south of Mali capital, Bamako) which is the main area of lithium deposits,” Djire told the newswire service.