European Metals Holdings Ltd (LON:EMH) said it has hired SMS Group Process Technologies GmbH as lead engineer at the Cinovec project in Czech Republic.
SMS will be working on the minerals processing and lithium battery-grade chemicals production, to provide a complete Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) study for Cinovec.
The FEED is a key component in the ongoing workstreams for the mine project’s definitive feasibility study.
Under the agreement, SMS will design the full process integration, from the receipt of ore to the underground crusher to the delivery of finished battery-grade lithium chemicals product. It will encompass both the lithium process flowsheet and additionally a tin/tungsten recovery circuit.
It is intended that the FEED will deliver a binding fixed price lump sum turnkey EPC contract, with associated process guarantee and product specification guarantees.
European Metals said it expects that this will greatly assist to underwrite project financing from European and global financial institutions.
It is expected that the FEED will start immediately and will lead to the EPC contract, as the final part of the DFS, by the end of 2021.
Keith Coughlan, European Metals' executive chairman, described SMS as “the ideal engineering partner” for Cinovec and noted that the project partners have been impressed by SMS’s capabilities and insights.
“The appointment of SMS is the culmination of a negotiation and due diligence process that has lasted over a year,” Coughlin said in a statement.
He added: “Successful delivery of the FEED study will provide a gateway to financing institutions and off-takers of the highest quality. We believe that the intended product and process guarantees will greatly enhance the Project finance either directly through commercial lenders or through the recently announced collaborative agreement with EIT InnoEnergy."
Herbert Weissenbaeck, a senior vice president at SMS added: “Having successfully completed thorough technical due diligence we believe in the compelling value proposition of Geomet's Cinovec Lithium/Tin/Tungsten project, which is set to become a cornerstone of the e-mobility driven European battery metals landscape.
“SMS group is delighted to deploy its second-to-none technology metals and materials production know-how and EPC capabilities into this exciting project."