Renaissance for Carinthian Lithium
A currently closed lithium mine in Carinthia will be reopened by an Australian company after its acquisition for a price of € 9.25m. It is the largest deposit in Europe.
On Tuesday, the mine’s current owner Kärntner Montanindustrie (KMI) is going to sign the contract for the transaction with the combined companies Exchange Minerals Limited (EML) headquartered in Dubai and the Australian East Coast Minerals NL (ECM). The purchase price has been reported to be € 9.25m.
ECM-spokesman Joachim Fleing said that there were only a few open questions to be answered until Tuesday. The exploitation should start as soon as possible. Geologists believe that the Carinthian mine is the largest underground deposit of lithium in Europe.
KMI had acquired the mine in 1991 for one Schilling from ÖIAG, the Austrian Republic's investment and privatization agency. Before, the state had analyzed the deposit so that it is considered to be well explored. The mine has been closed until today, but maintained by KMI.
EML and ECM are planning the exploitation and potentially also the on-site processing of lithium. Reserves are estimated to amount to 18 million tons with 1.6% lithium oxide content. The price for lithium currently stands at $ 4,500 per ton. Experts predict an increase to up to $ 7,000 due to the boom in electric mobility. Lithium is the main component of batteries used in portable electronic devices, cars and solar plants.