CINOVEC, CZECH REPUBLIC – Mining for lithium could start in the Czech Republic in two years, exploiting Europe’s largest resource of the metal that is used in batteries for electric vehicles and home power storage.
The deposits lie around Cinovec, a village with a tradition of mining since the 14th century and situated near the border with Germany, the industrial powerhouse at the heart of Europe’s bid to build electric cars and develop battery technology.
The resource, a term used for a deposit whose extent has yet to be proven by exploration, could amount to 1.3 million tonnes, or about 3 percent of the global lithium stock, according to the Czech Geological Survey.
That would rank the Czech Republic behind Chile, China, Argentina, Australia and other nations with bigger lithium reserves. But surging global demand and hungry European industry are sparking international interest in the Czech deposits.
Australia’s European Metals, which bought exploration rights around Cinovec in 2012 and wants to start mining by 2019, said the resource could yield 20,800 tonnes a year of lithium carbonate, the processed ore that is sold to customers.
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