European Lithium said that the Wolfsberg lithium project in Austria will require an overall capital expenditure (capex) of $866m, based on the findings of the definitive feasibility study (DFS).

According to the DFS, the mine is expected to produce 8,800 tonnes of battery-grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate per annum.

The DFS for the project has been prepared by DRA Projects.

A mining and processing operation to produce spodumene, a lithium concentrate, and a hydrometallurgical plant to convert the spodumene into battery-grade lithium are the two integrated operations involved in the Wolfsberg lithium project, said the company.

The hydrometallurgical plant is designed to process 69,989 tonnes of spodumene concentrate per annum and produce 8,834t of LiOH.H2O product per year at an estimated lithium recovery of 89.73%.

The project’s ore reserve is 11,483kt grading 0.64% Li2O, with a content of 72.9 kt Li2O of proved and probable ore reserve categories.

European Lithium stated that the life of mine plan for the Wolfsberg lithium project is 14.6 years at a production rate of about 780 kt/a run-of-mine (ROM).

In addition, the DFS estimates a post-tax net present value (NPV) of $1.5bn and an internal rate of return of 33.3% with a payback period is 6.75 years.

The downstream project facilities are anticipated to be constructed in Q4 2023.

European Lithium chairman Tony Sage said: “The robust DFS provided by DRA provides confidence in the commercialisation of the Wolfsberg Project. This positive news has come during a buoyant market for lithium and an increased urgency for decisive action to accelerate the green energy transition, especially in Europe.

“Our next steps include finalisation of the listing of Critical Metals on NASDAQ and continuing our discussions with our financiers. Through the business combination with Sizzle, Critical Metals Corp. expect to access substantial opportunities available in the US market.”