Lithium Australia (LIT) is to acquire ownership of Germany’s Sadisdorf lithium project— and plans to take on global battery players rushing to grab a slice of Europe’s future electric vehicles supply chain business.
LIT, which was granted a 133 square-kilometre exploration licence for the Saxony site earlier this year, will acquire the lithium/tin project from Germany’s Tin International subject to regulatory approvals.
LIT said the move puts it on “Europe’s doorstep” to meet expected EU needs for EV battery production capacity, which LIT claimed “will dwarf the much-publicised Tesla Gigafactory and Europe may well become the highest concentration of energy metal consumption outside China”.
“Asia, primarily China, South Korea and Japan, have lead the world in LIB cell production but things are changing,” LIT said. “Today, Europe has only one factory, located in the UK, manufacturing LIB cells for EV batteries. Big plans are afoot to change that in what has become one of the fastest growing precincts of LIB consumption.”
Sadisdorf has an inferred mineral resource of 25 million tonnes grading 0.45% Li2O1, LIT said. Lithium has already been “very successfully extracted from Sadisdorf mica concentrates” using LIT’s SiLeach process.
LIT said the acquisition puts it “on the doorstep of Europe”— where major battery firms including China’s BYD are looking to establish a foothold. “CATL, Samsung SDI, and LG Chem are following suit to establish European production capacity and SK Innovation will establish a factory in Hungary,” LIT said.
“The major consumers are already competing for offtake, and the establishment of raw material supply will be a critical aspect of their success,” LIT said.
“Major European auto manufacturers are forming strong alliances with the battery producers to ensure security of supply. With resources already well established at Sadisdorf, and LIT well down the track of commercialising its 100% owned SiLeach process, there is a great opportunity to develop a domestic European supply chain.”