European Metals Holdings PLC (LON:EMH) (ASX:EMH) has made significant progress in de-risking its Cinovec Lithium-Tin Project, located in the Czech Republic, during the first half of 2020.
The €29.1mln funding package from CEZ a.s. will fund the completion of the definitive feasibility study for the project, de-risking the project from a funding perspective, while the award of the preliminary mining permit related to the northwestern part of the Cinovec deposit de-risks the project from a licensing standpoint.
Keith Coughlan is the managing director of European Metals. Coughlan has almost 30 years’ experience in stockbroking and funds management. He has been largely involved in the funding and promoting of resource companies listed on the ASX, AIM and TSX. He has advised various companies on the identification and acquisition of resource projects and was previously employed by what was then one of Australia’s largest funds. He is currently the non-executive chair of Doriemus PLC and a non-executive director of Calidus Resources Limited and Southern Hemisphere Mining Limited.
The €29.1mln investment by CEZ a.s. will see CEZ earn a 51% equity interest in Geomet, the Czech subsidiary that holds the Cinovec Project. The €29.1mln means that the Cinovec project is now fully funded to the decision to construct, a significant de-risking event that will ensure the project continues to be advanced during difficult market conditions at no cash cost to European Metals.
It’s also worth pointing out that the largest shareholder of CEZ a.s. is the Czech Republic with a 70% interest in the company. To see such a large financial commitment to a mining project from a host government in any form is very unusual and almost unheard of in the junior market. So, it seems logical to take the CEZ investment as an impressive statement of geopolitical support for the project.
Cinovec has also achieved another important milestone with the award of the preliminary mining permit related to the northwestern part of the Cinovec deposit. The preliminary mining permit is the legal pre-qualification required before a final mining permit can be awarded; it also guarantees that Geomet will have the right to apply for and obtain the final mining permit. The permit has been issued for a period of eight years and covers the entire Cinovec ore reserve.
Both these important developments pave the way for Cinovec to become the first European Union producer of battery-grade lithium compounds from a local lithium resource. During the coming months, we can expect further milestones from the Cinovec Project, with the appointment of the detailed engineering team, the start of the definitive feasibility study engineering and feed studies, further drilling results, the commencement of the pilot plant production and discussions with potential offtake partners. The second half of 2020 holds much promise for this European lithium project.