Energy metals group Savannah Resources Plc (LON: SAV) is set for a busy year, as it fast-tracks its Mina do Barroso lithium project in Portugal into production.
"There is an unprecedented rise in demand for energy metals because of the rapid rise of electric vehicles and new forms of energy storage," David Archer, the group's chief executive, told investors in the company's results.
He said Mina do Barroso was continuing to shape up as the European near-analogue to the highly successful Western Australian spodumene producers.
A scoping study is due to be completed in the second quarter of 2018, further drilling and metallurgical work is underway and development on track due to be made early in 2019.
Meanwhile, at the high-grade copper project in Oman, mining is due to commence later this year, which will provide near term cash flow. Licensing approvals are well advanced and there has been strong interest received from copper off-takers, the firm said.
At the mineral sands project in Mozambique, the group has increased its interest to 20% from 10% in the Mutamba project, while a pre-feasibility study is now underway.
In the year to December 31, Savannah posted an operating loss of £2.83mln (2016: loss of £1.75mln) reflecting the increased operational and investing activities last year, the firm said.
In a separate statement, the group said it had approved a long-term incentive plan (LTIP) aimed at incentivising executive directors and certain other members of the senior management team.