Rock Tech Lithium has made another step towards opening its plant in Germany as it obtained the first partial license for its lithium hydroxide conversion plant in(the “Guben Converter”). The official groundbreaking is planned for 27 March.
However, the groundbreaking will indeed be purely ceremonial because the company has received approval from the responsible State Office for the Environment to start construction of its lithium converter ahead of schedule already in January. Therefore, the first major work on site was initiated before the official ceremony.
The first partial license issued by the Licensing Authority South of theState Office for the Environment today follows the project’s Early Start Permissions received in December 2022 and January 2023. Rock Tech said that the so-called TG1 now secures the first works on site recently awarded to a regional construction company.
The permit allows complete construction for all “non-process buildings and site infrastructure,” the company informs and approves the general plant layout and functions for the spodumene to lithium hydroxide conversion.
“It is a great day, and a remarkable milestone has been reached. We have already achieved an essential progress in securing critical planning and pre-agreements for long lead items, and the basic engineering is done,” said Rock Tech’s Chief Operating Officer Klaus Schmitz. “We are strongly convinced that this first partial license supports and accelerates further progress in the realization of this first of its kind project in Europe.” The executive added they had completed the Bankable Project study last year and that the Front End Loading Study Level 3 was in its final stage.
The company has aösp already submitted all required permits. It says it was in close contact with the local authorities and involved third-party experts in securing this permit approval in due time.
Rock Tech’s lithium converter is estimated to cost $683 mn (around €648 mn). It will allow the company to process spodumene into battery-grade lithium hydroxide. While the press release mentions “any global source,” present plans see the German-Canadian company headquartered in Vancouver, extracting the raw material for the lithium hydroxide from its mine project in Georgia Lake in Ontario, Canada. This material is to be refined into battery-ready products in Guben, among other places.
The company reportedly plans to produce around 24,000 tonnes of battery-grade lithium hydroxide annually in Guben from 2025. Mercedes-Benz has already secured an annual supply of an average of 10,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide from Rock Tech.