This strengthens the company's presence in Europe and increases the focus on Core's Finniss Lithium Project in the Northern Territory of Australia.
The company will now be part of a comprehensive collaborative ecosystem bringing innovative mining extractive technologies to the table.
It will also be actively engaging with the European Union hi-tech manufacturing base and financiers mandated to facilitate the timely development of the EU’s critical material processing capability including the European Investment Bank (EIB).
Key end-user market
Core Lithium managing director Stephen Biggins said: “We are very pleased with our ongoing development of Core’s presence in Europe and participation in what is shaping to be a key end-user market for the lithium-ion battery production and demand for our product.
“Core Lithium is in the driving seat in terms of efficiently allocating Finniss’ product into resilient and sustainable end-markets with respectable partners.
“Our acceptance into the ERMA reflects Core’s own commitment to sustainable outcomes as downstream manufacturers increasingly scrutinise ESG standards and energy intensity along the entire LIB supply chain.
“As we develop new collaborative relationships and supply chain integration in Europe through the ERMA, we are also embracing existing and new relationships with potential partners in Asia who share Core’s interest in the burgeoning LIB sector in the EU.
“We remain committed to partners in each region.”
Ramp-up engagement in EU
Core’s participation in the ERMA bolsters supplies of lithium, one of several critical materials from Australia, a jurisdiction with equally robust Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) standards evidenced in the Finniss Lithium Project’s low carbon footprint, environmental credentials and ethical sourcing policies.
The company will ramp-up its engagement with EU stakeholders despite the current COVID-19 challenges and anticipates participation in ERMA strategy development for critical material resilience.
Conversion of the Transamine MOU to a binding offtake agreement is a practical step to improving the EU’s critical material resilience, after which the remaining portion of product remains to be allocated to one of a number of potential partners.
Finniss project on-track
The Finniss Lithium Project is still on-track to commence production in 2022 to secure its role in the lithium-ion battery (LIB) supply chain.
Given its low start-up capital requirements, existing infrastructure and proximity to offshore transport services, the project is well-placed to meet the world’s growing demand for lithium batteries for electric vehicles and other renewable technologies that the world is gravitating towards.
The project is within 25 kilometres of port, power station, gas, rail and one hour by sealed road to workforce accommodated in Darwin and to Darwin Port - Australia’s nearest port to Asia.
The Finniss project boasts world-class, high-grade and high-quality lithium suitable for this use and for other renewable energy sources.
Green and digital economy
At the ERMA launch, European Commission vice president Maroš Šefčovič said: “Our strategic foresight shows clearly that the demand for critical raw materials is only going to rise, especially given the ongoing transition towards a green and digital economy.
“The pandemic has also highlighted the criticality of raw materials for our recovery.
“To secure a sustainable supply of raw materials we need to join forces across Europe, as we have done for the EU Battery Alliance.
“The European Alliance on Raw Materials will mobilise industrial and innovation actors, Member States, regions, the EIB, investors and civil society – to help build our capacities and investment cases along the entire value chain, from extraction to processing and recycling.
“This will in turn strengthen our resilience and boost our open strategic autonomy.”
European Raw Materials Alliance
At the launch, the commission acknowledged that for Europe to deliver the Green Deal, a digital transition and remain a leader in future technologies, it faced a significant increase in demand for critical raw materials.
The commission has recognised that Europe is highly dependent on raw materials from countries with less stringent environmental, social and human rights standards, and less stable economies.
ERMA will identify barriers, opportunities and investment cases to build capacity at all stages of the raw materials value chain, from mining to waste recovery.
It will focus on increasing the EU’s resilience in rare earths and expanding to address other critical and strategic raw material needs, such as lithium, recently added to the EU’s critical material list with other materials for energy storage and conversion.