Infinity Lithium Corporation Ltd (ASX:INF) is witnessing continued support from the European Commission (EC) for battery raw material projects that have been recognised as critical in the defence of European interests.
The June 12, 2019 meeting between the EC and the board of the European Investment Bank (EIB) called for the prioritisation of sectors that are strategic for Europe, and specifically for battery raw material projects that focus on the process of lithium extraction and conversion to chemicals.
Battery raw materials vulnerability is becoming a rising political, economic, industrial and environmental issue whereby the European Union’s (EU) sourcing of materials has relied on the global market.
READ: Infinity Lithium confirms industry and government support for San Jose as it nears PFS completion
EC vice president Maros Šefčovič noted the EC’s focus on the threats of trade wars and an ever-competitive China looking to challenge Europe in areas of leadership, such as the automotive sector.
He added: “We need to prioritise sectors that are strategic for Europe and their value chains.”
The availability of lithium chemicals remains a significant risk for the EU’s burgeoning automotive industry.
The EC has actively identified 10 potential mining projects for lithium that, if developed, could allow the EU to move from 1 to 30% of the world production by 2030.
EU’s second largest lithium resource
Infinity’s San José Lithium Project has the EU’s second largest lithium JORC 2012 resource and is projected to provide battery grade lithium chemicals through a fully integrated production facility located on site in western Spain.
Šefčovič recognised the significant support of the EIB and the European Battery Alliance (EBA), and continued calls for the EIB to become more fully engaged in funding raw material projects in exploration, mining and refining, and linking this to industrial projects in the circular economy where the EU maintains its advantage.
Potential funding for San José
The EIB has recently announced the €350 million senior debt facility for Northvolt’s Swedish domiciled lithium-ion battery and cathode production plant.
The EBA was launched in October 2017 by Šefčovič with an objective to create a competitive manufacturing value chain for battery cells in Europe.
The EBA is due to meet with Infinity in Spain this month as the Company nears completion of the San José Lithium Project lithium hydroxide Pre-feasibility Study (PFS).
The support of the EBA can assist in the progression of funding opportunities with the EIB for San José.
Infinity executive director Vincent Ledoux-Pedailles was invited as key speaker on Europe’s lithium market at the 11th Lithium Supply and Markets Conference, with more than 400 members of the global lithium industry gathering in Santiago earlier this week.
Infinity’s Vincent Ledoux-Pedailles in Santiago
Infinity co-hosted a lithium networking event with world leading commodity broking group SCB Group at the completion of the conference.