The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is taking a minority shareholding position in European Metals Holdings Ltd (EMH), an ASX and AIM listed company, focused on developing its lithium-tin deposit in the Czech Republic.

The Bank is investing €6 million in ordinary shares as part of a private placement by European Metals Holdings.

The Bank’s investment will be used by EMH to progress its lithium mining project in the Czech Republic. The company owns 49 per cent of the Cinovec deposit, the biggest hard-rock lithium deposit in Europe and one of the largest undeveloped tin resources in the world. The investment will finance the completion of pre-development works and studies to move the site towards full-scale production.

Once completed, the project will produce battery-grade lithium and by-products such tin and tungsten. A strategic raw material, lithium is used in the manufacturing of batteries and energy storage solutions and is in high demand by electric vehicle battery manufacturers. As the world continues to move towards wider adoption of electric vehicles, demand is expected to increase significantly in the next decade. A well-functioning European production site will reduce the European Union market’s reliance on international suppliers for this critical raw material and support Europe’s energy security.

The project aims to achieve low carbon intensity levels compared with other lithium sources. All facilities and operations at the site will be required to comply with the EBRD’s Performance Requirements under the Bank’s Environmental and Social Policy.

The EBRD resumed investment in the Czech Republic in 2021, following the approval of a request by the Czech authorities for help with recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. Equity transactions and investments which support the green energy transition are two priorities for the Bank’s re-engagement in the country.