Lithium Australia (LIT) has said a newly-awarded licence to search for lithium in eastern Germany will be a spur to creating a “central processing hub in Europe” to support electric vehicle battery production.
LIT has been granted a 133 square-kilometre exploration licence in Saxony and said drilling under way at the Sadisdorf project is expected to yield first assay results next month.
LIT said in an Australian Securities Exchange announcement on 15 January that the Sadisdorf drilling programme is scheduled for completion at the end of March, with final results expected in May 2018. The company said it has increased its European exposure, “by taking up prospective exploration ground in the Erzgebirge (Ore Mountains) region of Saxony, where lithium mineralisation is often associated with tin and tungsten mineralisation”.
The company plans to use its 100%-owned SiLeach process to recover lithium from Sadisdorf, which it said “may have sufficient resources to sustain 10 years of lithium carbonate production at a rate of 25,000 tonnes per annum”.
Sadisdorf is owned by Tin International and LIT is earning up to 50% of that project.
LIT’s managing director Adrian Griffin said: “Germany and Europe as a whole are in the midst of a shift to e-mobility. We are confident that Lithium Australia is well positioned to take advantage of that. The drill programme at Sadisdorf— which follows its maiden mineral resource estimate of 25Mt @ 0.45% LiO2— aims to confirm historical data, as well as provide additional data to expand the known resource.”
Griffin said the company’s “relatively recent identification, and the acquisition itself, further strengthen Lithium Australia’s position in central Europe and support its aspiration to become a prime supplier to Europe's burgeoning battery industry”.
Last year, LIT made a conditional bid to acquire Brisbane battery cathode developer Very Small Particle Company— including a decommissioned pilot plant for the production of complex metal oxides/phosphates for cathode production.