Global lithium production has increased sharply in recent years. Due to the electromobility offensive and the resulting demand for rechargeable batteries, a supply bottleneck is nevertheless looming. European Lithium wants to take countermeasures and play a key role in Europe in the future.
The situation is particularly precarious for Europe: The »old continent« is completely dependent on other regions for resources. A regional supply of the metal lithium, which is essential for battery and accumulator technology, would be a prerequisite for an integrated European battery supply chain.
European Lithium, a mining company listed in Australia and Germany and quoted on the US OTC market, is currently working intensively to take an important step in this direction in Wolfsberg, Carinthia, by developing a lithium mine there and mining lithium or processing it into battery-grade lithium hydroxide. An adit to explore the lithium deposit already exists and was purchased by the company several years ago.Ongoing investigations and a successful Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) suggest a high potential, which is now to be confirmed in the Final Feasibility Study (DFS) of the project, on whose completion European Lithium is working at full speed. In November 2021, European Lithium also entered into an agreement for the staged acquisition of two lithium projects in Ukraine.
»In order to achieve greater raw material independence, lithium mining in Europe should be significantly increased. By exploring, mining and processing lithium with particularly efficient and environmentally friendly methods, Europe could not only meet the increased demand but also set an important example in terms of sustainability,« elaborates Dietrich Wanke, CEO of European Lithium. The European automotive industry could also benefit from a self-sufficient European battery supply chain.
Wolfsberg is – besides lithium deposits in Ireland and Norway – one of the sites of the European and research project GREENPEG in the course of the EU research framework program Horizon 2020. The aim is to raise the exploration of rock types containing critical metals to a new level by using modern and environmentally friendly methods. In addition, European Lithium is part of the LiREF project for optimized mineral processing into battery-grade lithium products such as lithium carbonate (Li2CO3) or lithium hydroxide (LiOH).
»We are fully supportive of both of these projects. If exploration, mining and processing of critical metals are made more efficient, Europe could build a self-sufficient battery supply chain in the future. We have set ourselves the goal of being the first regional lithium supplier in Europe and thus an important part of the green revolution,« Wanke emphasizes.