The management of UkrLithiumMining considered two options for extracting lithium-bearing ores in the Kirovohrad region: open-pit (quarry) and underground mining methods. “We chose underground mining because environmental considerations are important to us. We want to be ESG-friendly (environmental, social, and governance)” – Denys Aloshyn, Chief Strategy Officer at UkrLithiumMining, stated in an interview with Business Telegraph.
According to Aloshyn, even though Ukraine is not yet a part of the European Union, the company believes that the country will join in the next few years. Therefore, they are carrying out all the work according to the highest European standards. Underground mining causes significantly less harm to the environment compared to open-pit mining. “The mine will be more expensive for the project’s investors, but we have chosen this method. We will descend approximately 600 meters below the deposit. The second stage will involve the construction of an enrichment plant, where we will process the ore into petalite concentrate,” Aloshyn explains.
UkrLithiumMining has signed a contract with the British company Wardell Armstrong, which will conduct an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) – an international equivalent of the Ukrainian Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). This assessment is necessary to ensure that the mine and the ore processing plant comply with international environmental standards. To achieve this, a mini weather station will be installed on the construction site, soil and water samples will be collected, and other necessary studies will be conducted. The assessment is expected to take approximately 1.5 years, and the findings and recommendations on how to minimize potential environmental impacts will be presented in a comprehensive report format.