European Lithium Limited (ASX: EUR) has unveiled positive results from a Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) for its wholly owned Wolfsberg Lithium Project, located in Austria.
• The Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) demonstrates that the Wolfsberg Lithium project is set to deliver high returns, leveraging low operating costs, and benefiting from a lithium market which is anticipated to be in structural undersupply during most of the life of mine;
• Battery grade Lithium Hydroxide Monohydrate (LHM) production is ~ 8,800 tpa for 14.6 years;
• LHM OPEX (after by-products) is US$ 17,016/t LHM on average compared to reported spot prices for LHM in February 2023 of US$79,500 DDP Antwerp;
• LHM prices modelled in the DFS are projected to be at a 39% discount to current spot prices in 2025 and then escalate by 2% per annum;
• Estimated CAPEX is US$866M which supports a post-tax NPV of US$1.5B @WACC 16%;
• Acceleration of decarbonisation and energy transition in Europe combined with the rapid adoption of electric vehicles provides further upside; and
• Construction of downstream project facilities expected Q4, 2023.
The Wolfsberg Project is held through European Lithium AT GmbH, a wholly-owned subsidiary of European Lithium. European Lithium is aiming to be Europe’s first and largest local supplier of critical lithium hydroxide monohydrate (LHM) in the region.
“The robust DFS provided by DRA provides confidence in the commercialization of the Wolfsberg Project,” Chairman, Tony Sage, said.
“This positive news has come during a buoyant market for lithium and an increased urgency for decisive action to accelerate the green energy transition, especially in Europe. Our next steps include finalization of the listing of Critical Metals on NASDAQ and continuing our discussions with our financiers.
“Through the business combination with Sizzle, Critical Metals Corp. expect to access substantial opportunities available in the U.S. market.”
Building on completion of the Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) for the Wolfsberg Project in April 2018, the Company conducted extensive infill geological drilling, mineral processing and metallurgical test work, built a pilot test facility which produced 1.7t of bulk spodumene concentrate, updated its marketing studies and completed environmental mitigation studies.
The results of this work has flowed into the Wolfsberg DFS which provides an accurate and detailed analysis of the compelling economics for the Wolfsberg Project.
The DFS has been prepared to international standards with Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve estimates prepared in accordance with the Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves (the JORC Code, 2012) guidelines, as published by the Joint Ore Reserves Committee of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Australian Institute of Geoscientists and Minerals Council of Australia.
The Wolfsberg DFS plans an average (steady state) mine production rate of 780kt/a, peaking at 840kt/a over the Life of Mine (LOM) which is based on an Ore Reserve of 11.5 Mt, mined over approximately 15 years.
The Project will comprise two integrated operations, a mining and processing operation to produce a lithium concentrate (spodumene), and a hydrometallurgical plant to convert the spodumene into battery grade LHM. The hydrometallurgical plant is planned to produce approximately 8.8kt/a LHM with a total production of approximately 129kt of LHM over the LOM. The forecast pricing assumptions for LHM are based on a 39% discount to current spot prices in Europe (~ USD 48 600/t) in 2025 which then escalate with United States Consumer Price Index (CPI) from 2026 onwards.
Field surveys for fauna and flora have been completed at the planned mine and concentrator site location. The DFS demonstrates that a mining fleet of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) can be economically viable for the Wolfsberg Project. The study confirms that that the underground portal, concentrator, and all the required surface infrastructure can be located within an area of less than 10ha, which has significantly reduced the Wolfsberg Project’s environmental footprint.
European Lithium is committed to the sustainable development of its Wolfsberg Project, utilising the most advanced mining and processing technologies to become a reliable low carbon producer of LHM and be a key part of the emerging lithium supply chain in Europe.
For further information please visit: https://europeanlithium.com/