Thiel-Backed Miner Partners With Bilfinger on Europe’s First Lithium Refinery

Rock Tech Lithium Inc. and Bilfinger SE have agreed to cooperate on constructing Europe’s first lithium refinery in a push to produce the area’s shift towards battery-powered vehicles.

The Canadian miner and the German industrial providers supplier have signed a memorandum of understanding to construct a lithium hydroxide converter for Rock Tech’s deliberate battery-metals facility in Guben southeast of Berlin, in keeping with a joint assertion Wednesday.

Bilfinger will do engineering work and later doubtlessly additionally procurement for the plant that’s anticipated to have an annual manufacturing capability of 24,000 metric tons of lithium hydroxide—sufficient to produce batteries for half one million electrical autos. The power is because of begin manufacturing in 2024.
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“The manufacturing of lithium hydroxide is important” to assist scale back transport-related emissions, Bilfinger’s interim-Chief Govt Officer Christina Johansson stated. Rock Tech’s idea for the refinery “is revolutionary and technologically convincing.”

Refineries are wanted to transform the lithium oxide present in spodumene rock deposits into battery-grade chemical compounds. Having an area smelter would permit Europe to keep away from a few of the advanced logistics concerned in transport what’s a extremely corrosive substance that reacts violently with water.

Rock Tech plans to largely supply the ore for the German manufacturing facility—which might be close to Tesla Inc.’s deliberate facility and a Volkswagen AG EV plant—from its personal spodumene mine in Georgia Lake, Ontario.

Backed by enterprise capitalist Peter Thiel, Christian Angermayer and hedge fund billionaire Alan Howard, Rock Tech can be getting ready a Nasdaq itemizing to broaden its investor base and assist finance the refinery, individuals accustomed to the matter advised Bloomberg final yr.


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