Infinity Lithium Corporation Ltd (ASX:INF) (FRA:3PM) continues to strengthen its alignment to the burgeoning European battery metals value chain and has been selected for additional EU funding initiatives.
The company, which has the San José Lithium Project in Spain, is one of only four potential investees to present an investment case to the Business Investment Platform (BIP) committee in the second half of December 2019.
Recently launched, the European Battery Alliance’s (EBA) BIP provides an additional source of funding that will be made available for selected EU projects such as the San José project.
Funding through BIP
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has forecast that about €20 billion will be available through the BIP from 2019 to 2023 for accelerated investment in the EU lithium-ion battery value chain, including projects in mining, refining and recycling.
Infinity was informed by the EBA that it had been selected to apply for this initiative.
Selection to participate in the BIP initiative is in addition to the funding available through the EBA’s private investment arm, InnoEnergy.
This funding can be applied to a maximum of €7 million over three years under the InnoEnergy Innovation Projects Investment facility.
Presenting at two platforms
Infinity Lithium will next month present to two separate EU investment platforms in Amsterdam.
The successful Expression of Interest for the BIP platform followed the company’s earlier presentation to key European delegates at the EBA Stakeholders Meeting and launch of the BIP.
EBA invited Infinity to present the San José project at this meeting serving as an example of a project that could be supported by the BIP.
European Commission vice-president Maroš Šefčovič has been appointed with a mandate to coordinate the commission’s work on the EBA and to facilitate the BIP’s goal to accelerate transactions between financial institutions and industrial projects included in the lithium-ion battery value chain.
He implored EIB Board members in June to include more mining investment in the energy lending policy, noting “We cannot sit idle while China is taking control of all the supply.”
Importance of San José
Furthermore, Šefčovič subsequently noted the strategic importance of the San José project, saying “Infinity Lithium is planning on producing 15,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide in Spain and is in negotiations with four European industrial players.
“Automakers should be very interested in this project.”
InnoEnergy application advances
The company will also present to the Board of InnoEnergy and a selected committee during December.
This follows the company’s successful registration and approval of the application to access EU funding through InnoEnergy.
The company has brought together leading EU lithium-ion battery supply chain participants to form the EU consortium to develop a battery-grade lithium hydroxide pilot plant.
After Infinity presented to InnoEnergy delegates in Stockholm in October 2019, the committee has provided stage II confirmation for the consortium’s application.
The presentation next month is the final step of the selection process prior to the final investment decision for an investment to support bench-scale test work and modular pilot plant.
Infinity is also encouraged by the EIB amending its energy lending policy to include for the first time mention of Critical Raw Materials (CRM).
New investment has been earmarked by the bank for mining operations as lending to fossil fuel projects diminishes.
Infinity’s Vincent Ledoux-Pedailles was nominated as the European Commission lithium expert for the Critical Raw Materials list assessment.
Lithium could potentially be added to the CRM list in 2020.