Russian energy giant Gazprom said it has signed an agreement with the Russian government to cooperate on the production and processing of formation brines (saline groundwaters) at its Kovyktinskoye gas field in order to obtain lithium compounds and other valuable components.
The parties agreed to work together in R&D activities aimed at creating domestic technologies, equipment and materials required to implement the project. The document also envisages drawing up proposals regarding state support measures for research and industrial enterprises.
Alexey Miller, chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, said that the company had already completed a feasibility study for Kovyktinskoye, which is the largest gas field in eastern Russia.
“The project has a very large potential. Initial estimates suggest that it might cover the bulk of domestic demand for lithium in the long run,” he said.
The lithium project is “an essential and substantive step toward fulfilling the ambitious goal of fully providing the industrial complex of Russia with domestically-produced rare metals and rare earth metals by 2030,” said Denis Manturov, Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation.