© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Participants are seen on the stand of Russian state nuclear company Rosatom through the International military-technical discussion board “Army-2021” at Patriot Congress and Exhibition Centre in Moscow Region, Russia August 23, 2021. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov
(Reuters) – Russia’s state-owned nuclear energy provider Rosatom and metals producer Nornickel plan to develop a lithium deposit within the northwestern Murmansk area, RIA information company reported on Monday, citing Rosatom.
Global demand for lithium is rising worldwide as a result of its use in batteries for electrical automobiles. Amid that demand, Rosatom’s subsidiary entered a lithium undertaking in Argentina in late 2021.
However, the chance of a lithium deficit has turn into an even bigger challenge for Russia since its fundamental suppliers – Chile and Argentina – have stopped exports to Russia as a result of Western sanctions imposed on Moscow over what Russia phrases a “special military operation” in Ukraine.
Rosatom sees the Kolmozerskoye deposit as probably the most promising lithium deposit in Russia and desires to develop it along with Nornickel, the world’s largest producer of palladium and refined nickel, RIA quoted Kirill Komarov, Rosatom first deputy chief government, as saying.
“We expect that the government will decide this year to put it up for auction and we want to start working on it,” Komarov stated.
Nornickel didn’t reply to a Reuters’ request for remark.
Russia has to depend on provides of uncooked materials, lithium carbonate, from Bolivia since different producers have stopped exports to Moscow, Russia’s commerce ministry stated earlier in April.
If Bolivia stops supplying the uncooked supplies, there will probably be nowhere to get them, making it difficult for Russia to provide its lithium-ion battery wants, the commerce ministry added.
Rosatom controls Russia’s uranium manufacturing. Its provide of the gas, used inside reactors, is essential for the U.S. nuclear energy business.