Cinovec Lithium / Tin Project

Cinovec hosts the largest lithium resource in Europe, and one of the largest undeveloped tin resources in the World. The recently completed Preliminary Feasibility Study indicates that Cinovec has the potential to be the lowest cost hard rock lithium producer in the World.

Location

The Cinovec project is located 100 km NW from Prague on the border with Germany, situated in the heart of Europe with ready access to end user car makers and companies involved in energy storage.

The project is located within close proximity to large industrial and chemical plants with excellent support services in Czech and Germany, adjacent to a main road with two rail lines within 10km of the deposit.

History

The Cinovec Project is located in the Krusne Hore Mountains which divide the Czech Republic from the Saxony State of Germany. The project is within a historic mining region, with artisanal mining dating back to the 1300s.

In the 1940s a large underground mining operation was established primarily to produce tungsten for the war effort. Mining and processing activities continued under the Czechoslovakian Government with the mine continuing to expand and producing tin as well as tungsten. Due to the fall of communism and lower tin prices, the mine was closed in 1993. In 2000, the old processing plant was removed and the site rehabilitated.

Project

In 2012, European Metals purchased a 100% interest in the exploration rights to the Cinovec Project area together with an extensive database, and commenced a drilling campaign to validate the comprehensive data generated by the earlier development and exploration activities.

The Company’s ongoing drilling programme has completed 30 diamond holes each averaging 400 m depth, successfully validating earlier drilling results, adding lithium grade data and providing metallurgical testwork samples.

In support of the PFS, European Metals has undertaken extensive metallurgical testwork at UVR and Anzaplan in Germany as well as Nagrom and ALS in Australia.

In 2015, European Metals completed a Scoping Study into the redevelopment of the Cinovec Project. The Scoping Study highlighted that the size, grade and location of the deposit make it a very attractive development opportunity and recommended that project proceed through to a Preliminary Feasibility Study (PFS).

The results of the PFS highlight that the Cinovec Project has the potential to be the lowest cost hard rock operation globally due to a number of unique advantages:

  • By-product credits of tin, tungsten and potash;
  • Ore is amenable to single stage crushing and coarse SAG milling, reducing capital and operating costs, whilst reducing complexity;
  • Iron content of zinnwaldite allows for cheap wet magnetic processing to produce a lithium concentrate for further processing at high recoveries;
  • Low temperature roasting and reagent recycling;
  • Low cost access to extensive infrastructure and low cost grid power;
  • Local workforce – high skilled and low cost of employment;
  • Historic mining and chemical plant region – strong support by the local community for job creation in areas that have both historic and current operations;
  • The deposit lies in a stable jurisdiction that is located centrally to the rapidly expanding electric vehicle industry which is forecast to be the main driver behind increasing lithium consumption; and
  • Established and transparent mining code.

Geology

Regional Geology of Krusne hory/Erzgebirge

Cinovec deposit is located on the Krusne hory/Erzgebirge metallogenic province at the northern border of the Bohemian Massif, in the Saxothuringian Zone of European Variscides (Štemprok 1989). Krusne hory/Erzgebirge is one of the major metamorphic crystalline complexes of the European Variscan Belt, and is formed by partially concealed Late Palaeozoic multiphase granitic batholith intruding amphibolite facies Neoproterozoic to Carboniferous age metamorphic complex (Seltmann and Štemprok 1995).

The Krusne Hory/Erzgebirge NE–SW trending anticlinorium extends over 120km in length and 45km in width, and plunges slightly to the southwest. The Erzgebirge crystalline complex exposes a seemingly coherent sequence of migmatite, para-and orthogneiss, mica schist containing intercalations of metabasalt, metarhyolite and marble, and by phyllite (Klominsky et al. 2010), and magmatic rocks.

Neoproterozoic basement rocks are represented by migmatitic gneiss and mica schist with abundant intercalated metamorphosed marl, dolomite, calc-silicate rock, quartzite, ultramafic and granulitic rocks which were migmatised and granitised during the Variscan orogeny. The overlying Lower Paleozoic sequence comprises marine clastic (mainly pelitic) and granitic rocks, which are transgressively overlain by Lower Devonian clastic rocks. Middle Devonian clastic rocks and carbonate with interbedded submarine spilite¬keratophyre volcanics are followed by the Carboniferous Culm facies (Seltmann and Štemprok 1995)

 

Magmatic rocks within the massif are related to events that occurred in several time periods; the Archean to Paleoproterozoic, the Late Neoproterozoic to Lower Paleozoic Cadomian/Baikalian Orogenies (700 to 500 Ma), the Lower Paleozoic Caledonian Orogeny (500 to 390 Ma) and the Late Paleozoic Variscan Orogeny (350 to 300 Ma). Variscan magmatism is divided into an early cycle (orthogneiss) and a quantitatively dominant late or post-kinematic cycle (unfoliated granites), (Seltmann and Štemprok 1995). The latest magmatic event was extension-related volcanism and emplacement shallow small intrusions of Li-enriched granite.

Deposit

The Cinovec Deposit extends for approximately 2km south of the border. The below Long Section shows the shallower, higher grade lithium mineralisation to the north and the tin rich area of Cinovec South. As evident from the table of selected drill intercepts, the lithium mineralisation is in place over 350m wide.

 

Figure

 

HoleFromToWidth (m)Li20 (%)
CN-17222242020.62
CN-22123387.5264.50.54
CN-2394357261.10.5

 

HoleFromToWidth (m)Li20 (%)
CIW-259.5373361.50.43
CIW-26173.75410236.250.49
CN-865211.5206.50.51

 

Resource

Cinovec is an historic mine incorporating a significant undeveloped lithium-tin resource with by-product potential including tungsten, rubidium, scandium, niobium and tantalum and potash. Cinovec hosts a globally significant hard rock lithium deposit with a total Indicated Mineral Resource of 348Mt @ 0.45% Li2O and 0.04% Sn and an Inferred Mineral Resource of 309Mt @ 0.39% Li2O and 0.04% Sn containing a combined 7.0 million tonnes Lithium Carbonate Equivalent and 263kt of tin. This makes Cinovec the largest lithium deposit in Europe, the fourth largest non-brine deposit in the world and a globally significant tin resource. See Table 1 below.

Table 1: JORC 2014 Cinovec Mineral Resource Estimate (19 February 2017)

Jorc CategoryCut-off %Tonnes (Millions)Li (%)Li2O (%)LCE MtW (%)Sn (%)Sn kt
Indicated0.1 % Li347.70.20.54.00.0150.04139,080
Inferred0.1 % Li308.80.20.43.00.0140.04123,520
TOTAL0.1 % Li656.50.20.47.00.0140.04262,600

In addition to this Mineral Resource, there is a JORC compliant Lithium Exploration Target of 350 to 450 Mt @ 0.39% to 0.47% for 3.4 Mt to 5.3 Mt of LCE.