Lithium and tin miner European Metals Holdings' (EMH's) wholly-owned subsidiary Geomet has entered into a value-added services (VAS) agreement with EIT InnoEnergy for the miner’s Cinovec lithium project in the Czech Republic.
The project, which is a joint venture (JV) between EMH and power distribution company CEZ, has been recently funded to the amount of about €29-million, taking the project through to a construction decision.
EIT InnoEnergy is the principal facilitator and organiser of sustainable battery cell manufacturing value chain lobby organisation, the European Battery Alliance (EBA).
The purpose of the financing agreement is to support the construction financing and ultimate commercialisation of Cinovec, the largest hard rock lithium deposit in Europe, with EIT InnoEnergy to provide assistance to EMH to support the sourcing of construction finance, securing grant funding and assisting in offtake introductions and negotiations.
Based on Cinovec's economics, long mine life and proximity to the key manufacturing centres in Europe leading in electric vehicle development, the project is well positioned to work with EIT InnoEnergy and other European organisations to ensure timely development to assist in meeting the expected significant increase in this demand.
EMH chairperson Keith Coughlan says the requirement for locally sourced raw materials for the e-mobility movement has become more apparent during Covid-19, and Cinovec is well positioned in close proximity to Europe's manufactures. “Over the coming months we look forward to commencing the definitive feasibility study work programmes, and subsequent permitting and construction of Cinovec.”
EIT InnoEnergy CEO Diego Pavia says the clear mandate of the EBA’s 250 initiative and EIT InnoEnergy is to secure raw materials, technological development and industrial production of modern energy technologies in Europe.
“Lithium is central to this as the single most critical metal required for almost all energy storage technologies – as the lightest metal and with the highest charge density to mass ratio, it cannot be replaced.”
The objective of EBA's 250 initiative is to build a strong pan-European battery industry that is able to help Europe capture a growing market that is estimated to be worth €250-billion a year by 2025.
This industrial development programme supports the European Green Deal, which is the European Union's (EU's) roadmap for making the EU's economy sustainable.
He adds that Cinovec is critical to the development of Europe's energy storage industry, representing a strategic and accessible source of supply of a raw material critical to meeting the EU’s climate goals of electrification of mobility and large-scale development of renewable energy storage.
EIT InnoEnergy is a fully-commercial company, supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology. Formed in 2010, it has about 500 industrial partners and 24 shareholders.
Under the VAS agreement, EIT InnoEnergy will support Geomet in the financing and development of Cinovec by assisting Geomet in securing construction finance for Cinovec, potentially up to the full amount of the capital expenditure and working capital required to put the mine and lithium chemical plant into production.
It will also secure grant funding from applicable EU, national or regional grant schemes, for project enhancement studies and economic development objectives, for development of green/sustainable energy projects.
The VAS agreement will also assist in developing relationships with EIT InnoEnergy's partner offtakers, with the intention of facilitating and advising on the negotiation of offtake agreements, potentially including offtake pre-financing, and provide general support including education, communication and societal and environmental acceptance.