Rock Tech Lithium Inc. [RCK-TSXV; RCKTF-OTCQX; RJIB-FSE] has completed a bankable project study (BPS) for the construction and operation of the company’s proposed battery-grade merchant lithium hydroxide monohydrate converter and refinery facility in Guben, Germany.
The results of the BPS, which was conducted in collaboration with Wave International Pty. and the company’s Finnish engineering partner, show a significant improvement in the converter’s economics compared with the previous engineering study, released on November 29, 2021, and are expected to form the basis for the project financing discussions with potential lenders.
Highlights: Estimated Pre-Tax NPV (8% discount rate) of US$1,219 million; estimated Pre-Tax IRR of 24%; estimated initial capital costs of approximately US$683 million; estimated nameplate annual lithium hydroxide monohydrate (LHM) production capacity of 24,000 tonnes; estimated C1 Plant Operating Cost of US$4,752/tonne of LHM produced and estimated revenue of approximately US$14,872 million over 25-year life of project.
Early construction works are anticipated to begin in Q1 2023 with start of commissioning planned from Q2 2025.
Rock Tech’s planned merchant LHM Converter in Guben, Germany is anticipated to be the first European lithium converter, with capacity to produce 24,000 tonnes of battery grade lithium hydroxide per year, a raw material urgently needed by the battery and automotive industries. The importance of lithium hydroxide is supported by the European Union’s recent agreement to effectively ban the sale of new combustion engine vehicles from 2035. Such ban will reshape the European mobility sector and further accelerate EV production, leading to an increased demand for lithium hydroxide.
Rock Tech’s plant will be located in Guben, Brandenburg (DE). As announced in October 2021 the company purchased a site within the existing Guben South industrial park. The site which covers a total of 12 hectares offers excellent accessibility by road and rail. Additionally, key suppliers and customers reside in the region which is expected to become one of the leading battery and EV clusters in Europe.
Transparent federal legislation and comprehensive state subsidy schemes further add to the region’s attractiveness. The Converter is designed to process spodumene concentrates into battery grade LHM via the sulphation-causticisation (S-C) route. The basic process flowsheet was selected in the previous phase of the Project and was subsequently optimised using data supplied by equipment vendors and metallurgical test work completed during the study.
“Our Guben Converter is an exceptional project as it will help address the increasing need for battery-grade lithium hydroxide. Additionally, it will strengthen regional supply chains by offering a processing route for spodumene concentrates in Europe,” said Dirk Harbecke, Rock Tech’s CEO.