The Czech government has signed an agreement to cooperate on developing the country’s Cinovec lithium deposit with Australian- and UK-listed mineral exploration and development company European Metals Holdings Limited (EMH).
The memorandum of understanding (MOU) with EMH, which owns 100% of the Cinovec deposit, was signed on 2 October— despite concerns raised by political leaders about the granting of exploration rights to EMH, which owns the domestic mining firm Geomet.
Geomet, founded in 2007 by four Czech geologists, was not mentioned in the MOU. However, the agreement paves the way for the Czech government to become “an equity participant” in the Cinovec project. In addition, the MOU said all sides will “work together to maximise downstream processing options within the Czech Republic”.
Trade and industry minister Jiri Havlicek (pictured) said: “Our main objective is that lithium is not only obtained but mainly processed and utilised within the Czech Republic.”
EMH bought a 100% interest in the exploration rights to Cinovec— formally known as the Cinovec Lithium/Tin Project— in 2012. The deposit is 100 kilometres northwest of Prague on the border with Germany.
According to EMH, Cinovec “hosts the largest lithium resource in Europe, and one of the largest undeveloped tin resources in the world”. EMH describes the project as “situated in the heart of Europe, with ready access to end user car makers and companies involved in energy storage”.
EMH said in July 2017 that a preliminary feasibility study undertaken for Cinovec indicated a maiden probable ore reserve of 34.5Mt @ 0.65% Lithium oxide (Li2O).