Savannah has picked Martin Steinbild as its first lithium business development director.
Steinbild comes from major lithium producer Albermarle (US:ALB), which took over his former employer Rockwood Lithium in 2015.
Savannah announced in December Mina do Barroso had an estimated resource of 3.2 million tonnes at 1% lithium oxide.
The company said it expected a development decision by the end of the year.
CEO David Archer said Steinbild's contacts and experience would help with the development.
"He brings to Savannah a wealth of experience in the lithium industry, which will be extremely valuable as we develop our Mina do Barroso lithium project which we believe has the potential to be the first significant lithium mine in Europe," he said.
"In his role, Martin will focus on helping Savannah introduce Mina do Barroso to the international lithium industry, as we look to commercialise our project."
Savannah will hand a company owned by Steinbild 1 million stock options for the work, with an exercise price of £0.08 (US$0.11) per share.