We are on the verge of a lithium revolution, said Prime Minister Petr Fiala, who envisions the possibility of Czechia embarking on lithium mining within its territory, potentially becoming a significant contributor to Europe’s overall energy security.
Czechia is estimated to have about 3% of the world’s lithium resources, with the vast majority located in Cínovec, close to the German border. Experts say that Cínovec could be the largest lithium reserve in Europe.
“We are on the verge of the lithium revolution because the use of lithium will grow significantly, and Europe will intensively support the production of critical raw materials on its own territory,” Fiala said, quoted by the Czech News Agency.
Lithium – which the EU classifies as a critical material – is crucial for the production of batteries for electric vehicles and renewable energy technologies.
Deposits in the Czech Republic are located in the region whose economy is built on coal mining; thus, it poses a significant opportunity.
“It is a chance to attract new investors to the region, improve the standard of living and create thousands of jobs. We have a chance to create a centre of modern energy and renewable resources from a once coal region,” Fiala said on Tuesday during his trip to the region where he met with Saxon Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer.
According to the prime minister, cooperation with Saxony is also important, which is why they signed a memorandum on cooperation on strategic projects, including extracting raw materials such as lithium.
Deep mining at Cínovec is being prepared by Geomet, a company majority owned by Severočeské doly, which belongs to the energy company ČEZ Group. The final feasibility study, which will answer basic questions related to the possibilities of lithium production at Cínovec, will be ready by the end of this year. Actual mining could start in late 2026 and 2027.
ČEZ is currently in talks with the mayors of the surrounding villages about the mining. According to the company, only the entrance of the mine will be visible on the surface. The ore will be mined 200 to 500 metres underground, where it will also be partially crushed. Further processing will take place close to the deposit, after which the raw materials will be transported further away.
(Aneta Zachová | EURACTIV.cz)
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