European Metals Holdings (ASX: EMH) will increase modelled production figures at its Cinovec lithium-tin project in the Czech Republic, after recent roast optimisation tests achieved improvements in lithium extractions to around 94% recovery.
The test results have shown a 7% increase in recoveries used in the project’s prefeasibility study completed last year, and will see the modelled production rate of battery-grade lithium carbonate at Cinovec increase by 1,700 tonnes per annum from 20,800tpa to 22,500tpa.
Higher production figures will result in an increase for the company’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of around 10%, with flow-on effects to project returns.
European Metals attributed enhanced lithium recovery rates to the use of a new reagant mix during optimisation, containing less high cost inputs such as hydrated lime and sodium sulphate and a higher proportion of low-cost waste gypsum.
Test work also found the sodium sulphate produced through lithium-carbonate precipitation can be recycled into the roast feed, eliminating any costs associated with the disposal of surplus material.
Europe’s largest lithium resource
Located 100 kilometres northwest of Prague on the German border, European Metals claims Cinovec is the largest lithium resource in Europe and one of the biggest undeveloped tin resources in the world.
The project has a total indicated mineral resource of 348 million tonnes at 0.45% lithium oxide and 0.04% tin, and an inferred resource of 309Mt at 0.39% lithium oxide and 0.04% tin containing a combined 7Mt lithium carbonate equivalent and 263,000t of tin.
Cinovec sits within a historic mining region in the Krusne Hore mountains and is in proximity to large industrial and chemical plants, as well as end-user car makers and companies involved in energy storage.
European Metals said last year’s PFS indicated that Cinovec has potential to become one of the world’s lowest cost hard rock lithium producers.
“Our PFS showed [this project could be] a bottom half cost producer and an improvement on that will indeed be significant,” said managing director Keith Coughlan.
Mr Coughlan added improved recoveries to 94% have enabled the company to initiate locked cycle and larger-scale roasting confirmation tests over the coming months, with planned pilot scale test work to follow.
At mid-morning, shares in European Metals were up 6.41% to A$0.42.