European Metals Holdings Limited (LON:EMH) has produced battery-grade lithium hydroxide from ore from its Cinovec project in Czech Republic.
Cinovec is host to an estimated 7.18mln tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent, but European battery makers prefer to use lithium hydroxide in their latest products.
European Metals looked at either producing lithium hydroxide directly or converting lithium carbonate.
Bosses opted for the latter and a 4.3kg sample of lithium concentrate was taken and turned into battery-grade lithium hydroxide which weighed just under 10 grams.
The data from this initial test-run, which was focused on grade not recovery, will now be used to update the pre-feasibility study. That update is expected to be completed within six weeks.
While it was only a small-scale trial, European Metals is confident it could achieve a potential production rate in excess of 25,000 tonnes per annum of lithium hydroxide.
“The clear majority of European battery producers are indicating a requirement for lithium input to be supplied as battery grade lithium hydroxide,” said managing director Keith Coughlan.
“The fact that EMH has now demonstrated the ability to produce this product from Cinovec ore is an exciting development that will enable the company to supply its final product into the European marketplace.”
He added: “Meeting the European battery market's requirements and expectations is foremost in our considerations. EMH's next step is a formal update of the 2017 PFS, the outcomes from which will be reported shortly.”
EMH shares rose 5.5% to 18.7p on Monday morning.