European Lithium Ltd (ASX:EUR) (VIE:ELI) (FRA:PF8) is committed to use cutting-edge technology for clean lithium production as it sets the highest standards to help fuel a sustainable future of European electromobility and storage systems.
The company aims to be the first local lithium supplier into an integrated European battery supply chain, with the first production of battery-grade lithium in the heart of Europe, expected in 2023.
To help achieve these aims, the company is aligning itself with increasing cleaner energy future initiatives being implemented by the European Union (EU).
Independence from Asia
This strategy will help the EU gain independence from Asian production as at present about 90% of all batteries for electric vehicles come from Asia.
The EU is committed to “building a strategic battery value chain in Europe” by investing €200 million in battery research and innovation.
It is also facilitating the approval procedures and permitting processes for mining resources in the EU and developing standards for production, software, security and recycling.
Lithium in heart of Europe
The Wolfsberg Lithium Project is around 270 kilometres southwest of Vienna, close to Graz and Klagenfurt airport, railway and highway access.
It has very good local infrastructure and sources of energy in place while a Mining Licence has been issued permanently under certain terms.
Wolfsberg has a measured, indicated and inferred JORC-compliant resource of 10.98 million tonnes at 1% lithium oxide in Zone 1.
Positive drill results in the first quarter of 2018 confirmed Zone 2 could mirror Zone 1 resource, doubling the project resource.
On water management, European Lithium said water demand would be met through mountain water, other natural inflows and recycling.
Pre-feasibility study completed
The pre-feasibility study on the project has been completed, indicating an accelerated case net present value (NPV) of US$339.4 million, based on only the JORC-compliant measured and indicated resource of 6.3 million tonnes at 1.17% lithium oxide.
Lithium hydroxide production of 10,129 tonnes per annum has been estimated in the accelerated case.
There is a planned increase of measured and indicated resources for the DFS, so that project design and evaluation will be at a maximum annual mining rate of about 800,000 tonnes.
Production costs and earnings
The total investment costs for the Wolfsberg project are estimated at US$424 million.
The development strategy going forward is for the completion and presentation of the definitive feasibility study (DFS), which is underway, and starting the permitting process based on the DFS project configuration.
The company will also prepare the mining plan authorisation for the mine and concentrator construction.
European Lithium will also have to determine the approval requirements of the carbonate/hydroxide conversion plant with the EIA and initiate final financing plans.
Offtake and financing talks
European Lithium will participate in the battery production funding program unveiled by the German Ministry of Economy.
It is also in advanced-stage talks on offtake agreements and has entered into discussions with several European banks to secure project financing.
Dorfner Anzaplan has completed the pilot processing plant on schedule and will soon start metallurgical test-work.