Sep 21, 2023

Czech Government Pushes for Lithium Mining Despite Regional Scepticism

The Czech government is making every effort to facilitate lithium mining in the country as it is a strategic raw material for the recovery of the Czech economy, Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS, ECR) said on Wednesday while visiting potential mining areas.

Geomet, a Czech company and member of the energy giant ČEZ, is preparing for deep lithium mining near Cínovec in the North-Western part of the country. This site boasts the largest lithium deposit in Europe, with production expected to commence between 2026 and 2028.

Lithium is a critical component in producing car batteries, which play a vital role in the rapidly growing electric car industry.

Fiala met with representatives from municipalities affected by the proposed mining site. According to the prime minister, local mayors recognise the importance of lithium mining for regional development.

“What they want is for us to set the conditions and rules and the whole project in such a way that it takes into account the interests of the residents, citizens and the whole region,” Fiala said after the meeting.

While many local mayors support the lithium mining plan, some have raised concerns, primarily due to a lack of detailed information about the project and the potential environmental impact of mining operations.

“It bothers us that there will be crushing, sorting, loading, re-sanding, perhaps using chemicals and that only a few dozen metres from the houses where people live,” Květoslav Koutník, mayor of Újezdeček, where the lithium processing plant is intended to be constructed, said for Czech news site Seznam Zprávy.

The aim of today’s meeting, according to Fiala, was to set up a communication model so that the region and municipalities would have enough information.

The extracted lithium holds significant value as a critical component in electric vehicle batteries, making it crucial for the industry.

Czech Trade and Industry Minister Jozef Síkela also revealed that there are talks with three potential investors regarding the car battery factory in the country. While the name of the potential investor remains confidential, negotiations are progressing.

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