European Metals announced that its Cinovec lithium-tin project in Prague, Czech Republic has been approved as a strategic project for the Usti region by the Just Transition Fund of the European Union (EU).

The designation makes the lithium-tin project eligible to receive funding from the EU’s new financial instrument, which aims to support regions in the transition towards climate neutrality by 2050.

The approval as a strategic project has been granted by the European Commission (EC), the Czech federal government, and the Czech regional government in Usti.

Just Transition Fund has allocated a total amount of €1.64bn for the country, of which the Usti region will get a share of about €632m.

The financial instrument’s first call for grant applications was opened on 14 November 2022 and will be closed on 31 December 2023.

European Metals executive chairman Keith Coughlan said: “I am very pleased that the European Union via the Just Transition Fund has approved the Cinovec Project as a strategic project for the Usti Region of the Czech Republic.

“This approval provides further evidence of strong support from the Czech Government and the European Union and the Europe-wide recognition of the critical part which the Cinovec project will play in enabling the EU to reach its stated goals of lithium self-sufficiency by 2030.”

According to European Metals, the Cinovec project has been assigned the maximum possible grant of €49m. This is the maximum funding to be made available upon application for each of the strategic projects in the Usti region, said the company.

The Just Transition Fund grant is subject to the approval of the application, availability of funds, and the required permits for the early-stage work programmes of the Cinovec project.

European Metals plans to use the funding, particularly, for the early full development of the twin decline entry/egress system for the mine.

As per the updated preliminary feasibility study, dated 19 January 2022, the Cinovec lithium-tin project is expected to have an annual production of 29,386 tonnes of lithium hydroxide with a post-tax net present value of $1.94bn.