Despite Europe's position as the fastest growing region for the production of electric vehicles, it does not have domestic production of lithium hydroxide suitable for batteries, and almost 80% of its current supply comes from China.
European Lithium decided to remedy this situation and invested USD 1.5 million in the development of its Wolfsberg lithium project in Austria.
The investment will also be used to finance metallurgical testing of bulk samples to confirm the quality of final products for key customers and markets, obtain work permits and approvals required to start construction, and for preliminary negotiations with partners for purchasing and financing.
The EU has developed a plan to build and reshape its battery supply chain, while the European Commission's Action Plan for Critical Raw Materials addresses current and future challenges and actions to reduce Europe's dependence on Third World countries, diversify supply sources and improve resource efficiency while promoting responsible sourcing around the world.
The European Commission has also added lithium to its list of critical raw materials.
“European lithium is timely and well positioned to capitalize on Europe's unprecedented demand for lithium, fostering European integration of the lithium supply chain and capitalizing on the resulting growth of the regional lithium ecosystem,” said Kimon Gkomosias, who will lead the strategy. development of European Lithium in Europe.
Gkomosias noted that despite the coronavirus pandemic, for the first time in Europe, more EVs were sold than in China, with Europe's share of global battery-electric /hybrid EV sales increasing to 42% from 23% in a year.
The Austria-based project in Wolfsberg is close to the EU's largest import markets for lithium, namely Germany, Belgium, France, Italy and Spain, as well as upcoming battery projects in Hungary, Germany, Sweden and Poland.