European Metals (ASX:EMH) Prunéřov plant a lithium boon for Bohemic batteries

European Metals (ASX:EMH) Prunéřov plant a lithium boon for Bohemic batteries

April 26, 2024 Off By Jack Baker

European Metals has opted to build a plant at the Prunéřov industrial site, in a move expected to speed up permitting process and deliver earlier lower cost processing of hard rock lithium from its Cinovec project in the Czech Republic.

Cinovec lithium-tin deposit is 100 kilometres northwest of Prague in the Krusne Hory Mountains, a natural border between the republic and Germany.

While a definitive feasibility study for the project that features Europe’s largest established lithium resource will be deferred, the plant site comes with local backing and is expected to deliver a significant reduction in operating and capital expenditure.

The Geomet joint venture with European energy power CEZ Group will now finalise the DFS with new numbers from an industrial zone considerably larger and easier to build on than the previous site at Dukla.

European Metals Executive Chairman Keith Coughlan said while he understood a deferral was usually considered a negative, the company viewed access to the Prunéřov Power Plant and expedited permitting as a boon.

“What has been clear in this process is the importance placed on this project by the community and Czech Government at all levels,” Coughlan said.

“In the European Union’s Critical Raw Materials Act environment, the coming together of both the Cinovec project joint venture partners and the Czech Government in the decision-making process with regards of the selection of the Prunéřov site provide a very strong foundation for our upcoming application for strategic project status under the CRMA.”

Geomet Chairman Ladislav Štěpánek said the site’s industrial location was the suitable place, and building in Prunéřov would provide jobs from closing mines and fulfil its prophecy of coal transformation.

“Only an ore-loading facility will be built at the original site at Dukla, from where we will transport the ore by rail to Prunéřov,” Štěpánek said.

“I am glad that we have found an agreement with the municipalities and the region and can continue with the project at Prunéřov.”

Mayor of nearby Kadaň Jan Losenický added the town welcomed the plant and new employment as parts of the area’s coal-fired industry began downsizing and closing up.

“The investor has promised to invest in the training and retraining of current employees so that they can be employed in the new sophisticated plant,” Losenický said.

“We are glad that ČEZ will not leave the region with the end of coal but will remain one of the largest investors and employers in the region, also thanks to the lithium park project.”

While development has been long in the works at Cinovec, European Union laws to guarantee mineral supplies and end Chinese dependence offers a large potential premium for domestic products.

An updated preliminary feasibility study indicated a quarter century mine life based on less than eight per cent of the total resource, and European Metals will now see how the numbers tally for a definitive look.

Historically known in English as Bohemia, the Czech Republic area was known as Czechia in the 1990s, when it was still part of Czechoslovakia.

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