Not only has the company advanced its Wolfsberg Lithium Project in Austria to near-development status, EUR has also made sure it is in a position to serve a definite and growing market for lithium products in Europe.
Chairman Tony Sage said the company’s early investment into the project as well as in product development, market definition, and securing industry links and government backing was destined to produce returns.
Resource extension drilling at the Wolfsberg project in Austria.
One of the challenges facing the global lithium industry in the future is financing with billions needed to enable companies to meet demand.
President of California-based Global Lithium LLC, Joe Lowry, told last month’s Latin America Downunder conference in Perth that more than $12 billion needed to be injected into the industry within five years to have a chance of meeting demand.
Financing hurdles for industry
He said meeting this requirement presented a major hurdle, exacerbated by known and emerging failures in lithium start-ups.
Many of these failures, he said, had demonstrated a lack of necessary skillsets and had discouraged investment in the sector.
While major lithium producers, SQM (NYSE:SQM), Albemarle Corporation (NYSE:ALB), Ganfeng Lithium Co Ltd (SHE:002460) and Tianqi Lithium Corp (SHE:002466), would meet some of the increased demand Lowry said they would not be able to meet the demand forecast for 2025 on their own.
With EUR’s advanced status, Sage said the hurdles facing many start-ups did not present the same issues.
He said Europe was taking steps towards ensuring it had a self-contained new-age battery industry.
This included lithium supply and processing with the finished end-product provided directly to the continent’s rapidly growing electric vehicle production sector being championed by major global vehicle makers, including VW, BMW and Mercedes Benz.
Sage said this strategy was being promoted and encouraged by governments, facilitated by European-developed technologies, financed by investors on the continent and supported by the vehicle makers.
As well as serving the EV industry, EUR could also supply spodumene, and the by-products quartz and feldspar to Europe’s glass and ceramics industry.
Chairman Sage is encouraged by the support being demonstrated in Europe for the strategy from investors, potential partners and others involved in the lithium industry.
“We are progressing full steam ahead and it is our strong belief that our Wolfsberg Project will be the first local producer of lithium hydroxide in Europe,” he said.