Australian and UK listed European Metals Holdings has commenced work on a preliminary feasibility study to confirm the economic viability of producing lithium hydroxide from ore mined at the company’s Cinovec lithium-tin project in the Czech Republic. The Cinovec deposit is currently the largest lithium deposit in Europe, with hard rock lithium mineral resource of 348Mt @ 0.45% Li2O and 0.04% Sn and an Inferred Mineral Resource of 309Mt @ 0.39% Li2O and 0.04% Sn containing a combined 7.0 million tonnes Lithium Carbonate Equivalent and 263kt of tin.
The preliminary study will also include a process flowsheet, describing the extraction of battery grade lithium through precipitation during the roast and water leach stages. The move comes as lithium ion battery manufacturers are increasingly requesting lithium in its hydroxide form as it produces more efficient batteries than those using lithium carbonate.
European Metals MD Keith Coughlan commented, “The move to modelling the production of lithium hydroxide is being undertaken due to the increased use of this product in Europe and the higher revenues associated with this. Czech and broader European battery manufacturers are moving towards the production of ever more efficient batteries and with our vision of supplying to the European market we need to keep in step with the market”.
Mr Coughlan also said the study will also include “recent improvements in the roast recoveries and ongoing optimisation” European Holdings said it should be in a position to announce the results of the study over the coming 2 months.