Green Lithium inks deal to develop European lithium refinery

CBCIE Time:May 10, 2022 09:50 Source:miningweekly

Lithium processing company Green Lithium has agreed terms with commodities trading company Trafigura to support the development of one of the first centralised commercial lithium refineries in Europe to supply European electric vehicle (EV) and battery manufacturers with battery-grade lithium chemicals.

Under the newly-established partnership, Trafigura will supply lithium feedstock required for the planned UK-based refinery and invest equity in Green Lithium’s development phase round of funding.

Trafigura is an established participant in the international nickel and cobalt trading markets, investing significant resources to diversify and develop its business across other battery metal commodities, strengthening its position as an important player in the global battery and EV value chain.

There is currently no commercial lithium refining capability in Europe, leaving the continent’s rapidly growing EV and sustainable energy storage sectors wholly reliant on China for critical battery metals.

In delivering its lithium refinery, Green Lithium expects to create the missing link and guarantee upstream supply chain security.

It is forecast that the growing demand for battery-grade lithium chemicals will not be met by global refining capacity that is currently available or planned.

Increasing and diversifying supply will be vital for the commercial viability of the European battery supply chain and, therefore, the EV revolution and transition to net-zero emissions.

Green Lithium offers flexibility as a merchant refinery, capable of producing different battery-grade lithium chemical products to meet dynamic end-market needs. It does so by using renewable energy and hydrogen in the refining process, where possible, to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and wider environmental impact.

This, Green Lithium says, creates circular economies in battery recycling while eliminating process waste through the sustainable reuse of by-products.

Green Lithium CEO Sean Sargent says the EV revolution is fundamental to reducing the carbon emissions that contribute to global climate change and ensuring net-zero targets can be met.

“Green Lithium’s refinery will accelerate the adoption of EVs and sustainable energy storage through the increased supply of low-carbon, battery-grade lithium chemicals – a key component of lithium-ion batteries.”

Fulfilling this vision, he says, requires the right supply chain and investment partners. “In Trafigura, we have found the perfect match in a company that not only has vast experience and expertise in the battery supply chain, but that is also willing to make a key equity investment to support Green Lithium in achieving its project objectives.”

Trafigura nickel and cobalt trading head Socrates Economou says that, in addition to Trafigura’s core business in physical commodities trading and logistics, the company has a strong record of financing and investing in mining and metals projects globally.

“This landmark project has the potential to revolutionise the European supply chain for EV production and sustainable energy storage at this critical time in the energy transition,” he adds.

Following its initial private funding round, securing over five times the target amount, Green Lithium is currently raising capital to fund its development phase activity. 

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