Lithium resources in Portugal


The Lithium Resources in Portugal workshop is sponsored by Sínese.
The workshop will be held later this month in Guarda.
Want to talk about exploration and (e)valuation of mineral deposits in Portugal, Africa or Brazil? Drop us a line; join us at the workshop.

SME Guide For Reporting Exploration Information, Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves

The 2017 SME Guide for Reporting Exploration Results, Mineral Resources, and Mineral Reserves has been adopted by the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, Inc. (SME) and is therefore strongly recommended to be used by members of this organization.

The Guide is recommended as a minimum standard for reporting Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves for public and private purposes. In terms of the Guide, Public Reports are reports prepared for the purpose of informing investors or potential investors and their advisers on Exploration Results, Mineral Resources or Mineral Reserves.


A AP3E – Associação Portuguesa de Estudos e Engenharia de Explosivos promove a divulgação do MANUAL DO OPERADOR DE PRODUTOS EXPLOSIVOS destinado a apoiar a formação dos Operadores de Fogo.

Este manual foi elaborado pela AP3E em colaboração com a ANIET, seguindo o programa de formação aprovado pela EFEE para o Operador de Fogo Europeu na área do desmonte de maciços rochosos.

O projeto europeu PECCS – Pan-European Competency Certificate for Shot fier/blast designer by European Federation of Explosives Engineers (, iniciado em setembro de 2016, com uma duração de três anos, visa o desenvolvimento de material de apoio aos formadores para a formação harmonizada do Operador de Produtos Explosivos segundo os padrões da EFEE.

Também pode obter o manual – Manual do Operador de Explosivos.

Portugal: (Energia e ) Recursos Minerais – I

Produção mineral nacional valor
Evolução do valor da produção mineral nacional (incluindo águas minerais) desde 1990 – Fonte: DGEG. Portuguese mineral production (including groundwater) value since 1990 – Data source: DGEG.

Lithium recovery from lepidolite

Electric cars and their batteries are on the top of the public agenda; Elon Musk’s high-profile Tesla (his company and his just-launched-into-space car) and the need to decarbonise the world’s economy have turned the public’s eye into the issue of lithium batteries, normally the realm of engineers and mining investors (how many of those in the general public know how batteries work and what are they made of?) .

Portugal is endowed in lithium, present in several minerals in the country’s pegmatite districts. Lepidolite (a pink mica – just follow the link for a nice lepidolite picture in this blog) is one of the lithium-containing minerals, until now mostly used in Portugal in special ceramics. Foreign junior miners have recently fired up a quest for lithium in Portuguese lithium-mineralised pegmatite deposits, contributing to an even higher high-profile in Portuguese media – also check the Portuguese Government’s task force report on lithium.

A team of Portuguese researchers from Instituto Superior Técnico and LNEG has just published an article on the “Optimization of an innovative approach involving mechanical activation and acid digestion for the extraction of lithium from lepidolite.” The team is composed by Nathália Viecel, Carlos A. Nogueira, Manuel F. C. Pereira, Fernando O. Durão, Carlos Guimarães and Fernanda Margarido.

The recovery of lithium from hard rock minerals has received increased attention given the high demand for this element. There- fore, this study optimized an innovative process, which does not require a high-temperature calcination step, for lithium extraction from lepidolite. Mechanical activation and acid digestion were suggested as crucial process parameters, and experimental design and response-surface methodology were applied to model and optimize the proposed lithium extraction process. The promoting effect of amorphization and the formation of lithium sulfate hydrate on lithium extraction yield were assessed. Several factor combinations led to extraction yields that exceeded 90%, indicating that the proposed process is an effective approach for lithium recovery.

International Journal of Minerals, Metallurgy and Materials
Volume 25, Number 1, January 2018

(Yes, some on the team are old colleagues and friends of mine; nonetheless, congrats on the work done).

One decade of ups and downs in rough and cut diamonds

Quarterly Zimnisky Rough Index.png


The last two decades have been a carrousel of emotions in the mining industry:

  • Oil and gold prices had steadily been growing since 2001. Oil spiked to maximum historical values in 2008 (and then crashed, to climb again for 3 consecutive years, plateau for 4 years, until mid 2014, crashing again, reaching nominal values of 2005, and recovering marginally since then).
  • Gold has had a more regular pattern, growing since to 2001 until 2011, maintaining a high plateau until the end of 2012, crashing until mid 2013, becoming relatively stable since then.
  • Polished diamonds have shown a much less volatile behaviour, with some ups in 2008 and 2011 (mimicking the markets’ general mood) but rapidly stabilising into a nominal stability (a slow real price decline).
  • Rough diamonds prices rose roughly 50% in nominal terms (as measured by the Zimnisky Rough Index) since 2007, a more subdued increase in real terms. The price increased in the 2009 – 2011 period, after which it stabilised until early 2015, after which it slowly declined until today.

Why are diamond prices less volatile than other mineral commodities’?
Why do rough and polished prices behave differently?
New deposits discovery and production capacity expansion seem increasingly difficult; why don’t diamond prices increase significantly in real terms?
Are there two different markets in diamonds?
What is the impact of new recovery technologies (XRT) in diamond markets?

Will discuss that in the next post. What is your opinion?

The oil and gold indices were calculated by just dividing the monthly gold average nominal price in US dollars by their price (nominal US dollars) in January 1980.

The Antwerp Diamond Index is a set of indices used to measure the price variation of five types of polished diamonds. The index is based on prices in US $ and gives the average price evolution on the Antwerp market of diamonds ranging in colour from exceptional white + to white and in clarity from LC to VS2:

  • 1 ct diamonds (1973 =100)
  • 1/2 ct diamonds (1973 =100)
  • A = Small Brilliant (1980 =100)
  • B = Melée (1980 =100)
  • C = 1/4 ct diamonds (1980 =100)

The Antwerp Diamond Index is maintained by the Diamond Office of The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC). To know more about AWDC and the Diamond Office , just visit their website:

The Zimnisky Global Rough Diamond Price Index was created to consolidate rough diamond price information and publish current respective price changes of rough diamonds on a weekly basis in the form of an index.  The intent of the Index is to track, analyze, and disseminate current aggregate rough diamond price fluctuations for use by a range of diamond industry participants.

The proprietary index methodology primarily incorporates price data from rough diamond transactions in the primary market, e.g. sales via long-term contract, tender, and auction by commercial miners. The Index also includes a minor sensitivity to polished diamond prices, given that miners utilize the polished market as a factor when determining contract pricing of rough. In addition, the Index includes a minor sensitivity to stand-alone diamond mining equities, as the relative liquidity that equities provide can imply the current profitability and revenue generation ability of diamond miners, which is directly influenced by the current rough diamond market.

Given the nature of natural diamond production, the variance in quality of stones produced, or the product mix, can impact global rough diamond prices on an average price-per-carat basis. The Index strives to represent as accurately as possible current price changes reflected in the average rough diamond transaction valued on a per carat basis in U.S. dollars. The Index value does not directly represent the price of a 1-carat rough diamond, but the percentage change in the average value of a rough diamond transaction relative to the initial Index value, at a given point in time.

The Index is based on an initial value of 100 using data starting on April 4, 2004. The Index is updated on a weekly basis, typically on Saturday. Retroactive revisions to index data are made on a quarterly basis typically after public miners release official quarterly sales figures.
(adapted from

To know more about the Zimnisky Global Rough Diamond Price Index, or obtain Paul Zimnisky’s insight on the diamond markets, check


Segunda-feira, 16 de Outubro 2017
Instituto Superior Técnico
Museu Décio Tadeu – Pavilhão de Minas
das 1500 às 1700

Na data em que faz um século da criação da DIAMANG, temos uma oportunidade para:

  • Celebrar a DIAMANG e os diamantesPortugal e os PortuguesesAngola e os Angolanos e o projeto que desenvolveram no coração do continente africano;
  • Recordar a gesta anterior de Portugueses, Brasileiros e Africanos no princípio do século XVIII, senhores, homens livres ou escravos, que nos sertões brasileiros revolucionaram o mundo dos diamantes, imutável desde a Antiguidade; recordar a abertura de novos mundos e mercados no século XVI, com a descoberta pelos navegadores Portugueses da rota do Cabo, globalizando os diamantes e especiarias da Índia nos mercados europeus.
  • Celebrar uma comunidade de povos e nações que partilham língua, história e cultura nos quatro cantos do mundo.
  • Não esquecendo a História e a celebração do passado, sobretudo, construir pontes para o futuro, promovendo e desenvolvendo em Portugal, em Angola, no Brasil, o conhecimento e a investigação científica sobre os diamantes, as pedras e os minerais preciosos e os seus jazigos, por um lado, e sobre as culturas, povos, línguas e geografia de África, a América do Sul e a Ásia, por outro.

Programa de dia 16 de Outubro, já na segunda-feira

15:00 – Abertura: Prof. Luís Chambel e Prof. Manuel Francisco

Apresentação e discussão informal do programa das comemorações (a decorrer durante o próximo ano)
Visita guiada ao Museu Décio Tadeu e às coleções da DIAMANG e de Angola

15:45 – O diamante, Portugal, Brasil e Angola: uma viagem secular – Luís Chambel

16:30 – Discussão do programa de comemorações e da visita ao Museu (continuação)

Mais informações: mensagens para ou messenger (Facebook)

Dredging 2016 – IADC report

IADC’s review of the global dredging market, Dredging in Figures, is published annually. Released in September 2017, this edition focuses on the international dredging industry’s revenue for 2016.

The report (just click the link) highlights essential information about the dredging industry, divided into three sections – Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) that includes sustainability, emissions and safety, the drivers of the dredging industry, and the turnover in the open markets of the industry. Statistics presented are based on information from public sources and IADC member companies.

(adapted from

100 anos – DIAMANG, 2017

Bom Agosto, boas férias para todos os que as gozam agora.
É altura de começar a planear o final do ano e 2018.

A DIAMANG faz 100 anos daqui poucos meses.

É oportunidade para celebrarmos ao longo de 2017 e 2018, a DIAMANG e os diamantes, Portugal e os Portugueses, Angola e os Angolanos.
Já existem algumas ideias; são precisas mais. O que podemos fazer, e onde?
  • O quê?
    • Conferências técnicas
    • Almoços
    • Exposição de fotografias
    • Edição de livros
    • Artesanato da Lunda
    • Minerais e rochas ligados aos diamantes
    • Que mais?
  • Onde?
    • Lisboa, claro.
    • Luanda, evidentemente.
    • Porque não na Lunda?
    • Porto.
    • Sardoal.
    • Moura.
    • Viana do Castelo.
    • Onde mais?
Serão precisos voluntários para ajudar a organizar e coordenar os eventos; estou certo que poderei contar com Pedro Batista Tomé, Joao Pedro Roque, Isabel Inácio, Luz d’Oliveira Belchior, Jose de Sá, Graziela Valente, Ana Carvalho, Isabel Redondo e muitos outros em todo o Mundo.
Vamos precisar de recursos audiovisuais, peças e artefactos, mapas, filmes e fotografias (antigas e modernas).
Se me fizerem chegar (através de comentários no blog, no Facebook ou LinkedIn ou através do meu email – as vossas ideias, nome e contactos durante Agosto, poderemos começar a organizar tudo logo no início de Setembro – o primeiro evento será a 16 de Outubro.
Abraço a todos.
Boas férias.