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Business

Russia to become self-sufficient in ‘critical’ mineral

The country plans to extract 45,000 tons of lithium annually, a Rosatom representative has revealed

©  Sputnik/Alexandr Kryazhev

Russia is focusing on lithium production and is gearing up to commence extraction of this valuable mineral at an expansive deposit located on the Kola Peninsula in the Arctic region. This strategic move reflects Russia’s ambition to join the ranks of the world’s leading producers of the sought-after ‘white gold.’

The country plans to extract 45,000 tons of lithium annually from the Kola deposit, which will be enough to cover domestic demand, Mikhail Metyolkin, the head of the business department at Rosatom’s subsidiary, TVEL, told reporters on Thursday.

“Rosatom has made the first step towards launching lithium production by obtaining a license on the Kola Peninsula. Polar Lithium is a joint venture with [nickel producer] Norilsk Nickel,” Metyolkin said.

There is a growing demand for lithium worldwide since it is used to make lithium-ion batteries, which are vital for most consumer electronics, as well as electric vehicles. The UN has described these batteries as “the critical pillar for building a fossil fuel-free economy,” and Russia has vast reserves of their base materials.

READ MORE:
World faces shortage of key metal – CNBC

Metyolkin added that soon, Russia will launch extraction of the metal at several other deposits. Moscow is bracing for a major development in its lithium industry, including the construction of full-cycle processing plants.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

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