Russia will completely cover its domestic demand for rare earth metals by 2030, while industrial needs for lithium will be met even earlier, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov announced on Monday.
In an interview with the Interfax news agency, he noted that Russia possesses one of the world’s largest reserves of minerals including rare and rare earth metals, reports rt.com.
Russia will put a major focus on lithium production as the country seeks to become one of the world’s top producers of the “white gold” and “has no problems with processing” the metal, according to the official.
The country has vast deposits of lithium, Manturov said, revealing plans to launch extraction of the mineral at several deposits in Russia’s Far Eastern Zabaikalsky Krai this year.
“We have necessary capacity for lithium processing at several plants. The total volume of lithium production will fully cover domestic demand by 2025 and by 2030 it will simultaneously meet both domestic needs and exports,” the deputy PM stated.
In April, the head of the Russian Industry and Trade Ministry's metallurgy department, Vladislav Vasiliyev, announced plans to launch the first production of lithium feedstock by 2026.
“If we achieve full capacity within three years, we will not only be import-independent, we will have excess production volumes,” he said.