Europe’s first lithium battery chemicals facility

Geomet s.r.o., a Joint Venture between Australian mineral exploration and development company European Metals and Czech energy giant CEZ, has appointed SMS group as the lead engineer for the minerals processing and lithium battery-grade chemicals production at the Cinovec project in Czech Republic.

The project will be an important cornerstone in advancing import-independent battery production in Europe. The new facility is set to produce – in full compliance with the most stringent environmental standards – about 22,500 tons of lithium carbonate or about 25,000 tons of lithium hydroxide per year (both of battery-grade), as well as tin and tungsten concentrates from a by-products recovery circuit.

SMS group is going to provide the process and plant technology for the complete process chain: from ore comminution via logistics for concentrate handling up to and including the extractive metallurgy processes:

  1. Full process integration from the point of delivery of ore to the underground crusher through to the delivery of finished battery-grade lithium chemicals for battery and cathode manufacturers.
  2. All process steps – comminution, beneficiation, roasting, leaching and purification.
  3. The lithium process flowsheet and the tin/tungsten recovery circuit delivering metal concentrates to refineries.

Given the situation that in Europe lithium-ion battery production capacities equating approx. 200 GWh per year are being planned or currently under construction and the fact that approx. 800 kilograms of lithium carbonate is needed to produce one GWh of battery capacity, the production volume planned by Geomet in the first phase of the project will only cover a small portion of the medium-term demand generated in Europe.

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