European Metals Holdings Limited (“European Metals” or the “Company”) is pleased to advise that today shareholders have approved at the General Meeting of the Company, the amended arrangements for the investment of EUR 29.1 million (approximately GBP 25.8 million) by CEZ a.s. (“CEZ”) for a 51% equity interest in Geomet, the Company’s Czech subsidiary and holder of the Cinovec licenses.
The investment of EUR 29.1 million will see the Cinovec project fully funded to the decision to construct, paving the way for Cinovec to become the first European Union producer of battery grade lithium compounds from a local lithium resource.
The transaction is scheduled to complete on Monday, 27 April 2020, and the work program will begin immediately.
European Metals Managing Director Keith Coughlan said, “This is a very significant day in the life of the Cinovec Project. To have Europe’s largest hard rock lithium project fully funded to decision to construct ensures that Cinovec is firmly entrenched as the pre-eminent lithium deposit in Europe. We are very pleased to be in partnership with CEZ in the development of the Cinovec Project. CEZ not only provide corporate, technical and financial strength, they fully share the Company’s vision for the development of a lithium ion battery industry in Czech Republic.”
Cinovec Project – no current effect from COVID-19
With the completion of the agreement with CEZ, Geomet will now immediately commence the Definitive Feasibility Study (“DFS”) and Front-End Engineering Design (“FEED”) programmes of work.
The funds contributed by CEZ will fully finance Geomet and Cinovec through the period to construction permitting and commencement of construction. The principal components of the next phase of work on Cinovec are the availability of management and staff, ore samples for test work and laboratory staff and time.
All management and staff of both EMH and Geomet are unaffected by COVID-19 and the current restrictions on travel and meetings are not expected to have any impact for the foreseeable future; all staff are able and continue to work remotely.
To-date, the Cinovec Project has drilled in excess of 13,800m of diamond drilling under the management of EMH. Extensive sample quantities are available from the resulting drill core as well as material recovered from historic adit drives into the ore body. Significant quantities of ore sample are held at our laboratory partners in Germany and at the project office in the Czech Republic.
European Metals and Geomet have confirmed with our laboratory and engineering partners in Germany and Australia that staff and laboratories involved in the DFS and FEED programmes over the next 3 months are ready and open for work on an immediate basis.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON CEZ
Headquartered in the Czech Republic, CEZ a.s. is an established, integrated energy group with operations in a number of Central and Southeastern European countries and Turkey. CEZ’s core business is the generation, distribution, trade in, and sales of electricity and heat, trade in and sales of natural gas, and coal extraction. CEZ Group has 33,000 employees and annual revenue of approximately EUR 7.24 billion.
The largest shareholder of its parent company, CEZ a.s., is the Czech Republic with a stake of approximately 70%. The shares of CEZ a.s. are traded on the Prague and Warsaw stock exchanges and included in the PX and WIG-CEE exchange indices. CEZ’s market capitalization is approximately EUR 10.08 billion.
As one of the leading Central European power companies, CEZ intends to develop several projects in areas of energy storage and battery manufacturing in the Czech Republic and in Central Europe.
CEZ is also a market leader for E-mobility in the region and has installed and operates a network of EV charging stations throughout Czech Republic. The automotive industry in Czech is a significant contributor to GDP and the number of EV’s in the country is expected to grow significantly in coming years.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON CINOVEC
Cinovec Lithium/Tin Project
European Metals, through its wholly owned subsidiary, Geomet s.r.o., controls the mineral exploration licenses awarded by the Czech State over the Cinovec Lithium/Tin Project. Cinovec hosts a globally significant hard rock lithium deposit with a total Indicated Mineral Resource of 372.4Mt at 0.45% Li2O and 0.04% Sn and an Inferred Mineral Resource of 323.5Mt at 0.39% Li2O and 0.04% Sn containing a combined 7.22 million tonnes Lithium Carbonate Equivalent and 263kt of tin reported 28 November 2017 (Further Increase in Indicated Resource at Cinovec South). An initial Probable Ore Reserve of 34.5Mt at 0.65% Li2O and 0.09% Sn reported 4 July 2017 (Cinovec Maiden Ore Reserve – Further Information) has been declared to cover the first 20 years mining at an output of 22,500tpa of lithium carbonate reported 11 July 2018 (Cinovec Production Modelled to Increase to 22,500tpa of Lithium Carbonate).
This makes Cinovec the largest hard rock lithium deposit in Europe, the fourth largest non-brine deposit in the world and a globally significant tin resource.
The deposit has previously had over 400,000 tonnes of ore mined as a trial sub-level open stope underground mining operation.
In June 2019 EMH completed an updated Preliminary Feasibility Study, conducted by specialist independent consultants, which indicated a return post tax NPV of USD1.108B and an IRR of 28.8% and confirmed that the Cinovec Project is a potential low operating cost, producer of battery grade lithium hydroxide or battery grade lithium carbonate as markets demand. It confirmed the deposit is amenable to bulk underground mining. Metallurgical test-work has produced both battery grade lithium hydroxide and battery grade lithium carbonate in addition to high-grade tin concentrate at excellent recoveries. Cinovec is centrally located for European end-users and is well serviced by infrastructure, with a sealed road adjacent to the deposit, rail lines located 5 km north and 8 km south of the deposit and an active 22 kV transmission line running to the historic mine. As the deposit lies in an active mining region, it has strong community support.
The economic viability of Cinovec has been enhanced by the recent strong increase in demand for lithium globally, and within Europe specifically.
There are no other material changes to the original information and all the material assumptions continue to apply to the forecasts.
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