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Infinity Lithium continues forward moves at Spanish lithium project

Updated: May 2

Infinity Lithium’s proposed Extremadura lithium plant in Spain. Credit: File

Infinity Lithium is pushing closer towards mining licence and environmental authorisation submissions for its San José lithium project in Spain following positive government permitting recommendations.

The finalisation of the Extremadura regional government’s Environmental Impact Assessment Scoping Document (EIA), compiled by its General Directorate for Sustainability, classes the project as compatible with environmental and land use requirements. The company will now use the recommendations as part of its Exploitation Concession Application submission process.

The EIA also franks Infinity’s preferred location for its planned lithium chemical conversion plant and portal for mineral resource exploitation. It follows a collaborative process to assess options provided by the company in its EIA submission. Local and regional government and other interested parties were part of the collaborative process to finalise key project requirements and locations.

Infinity says the recent advancements in the permitting process follow positive opinion polls in the local area for the potential development of the project and opportunities for streamlined processing under the Extremadura Lithium Decree Law. The project complies fully with that law for it to be able to exploit and process lithium in the region.

The company says the permitting milestones achieved through the scoping study’s release also helped reinforce government and stakeholder commitment to the project. Management is now committed to including the key findings in its mining licence, environmental authorisation submission and the final project concession application, which is facilitated through the collaborative process.

The finalisation of the scoping study follows the granting of an exploration permit for Infinity in March. The company says it reinforces its strategy to seek regulatory approval for its project.

The San José project is being developed in a joint venture where Infinity holds 75 per cent and Valorzia Mineria has the remainder. But the former has a call option over the project that would enable it to obtain full ownership.

The project’s resource is 65.4 million tonnes at 0.74 per cent lithium oxide and it is expected to produce 19,500 tonnes per annum of battery-grade lithium hydroxide over a 26-year period. It sits about 280km west of Madrid towards the Portuguese border and is the second-biggest JORC-compliant hard rock lithium deposit in the European Union.

Infinity’s wholly-owned Spanish subsidiary, Extremadura New Energies, is proposing a fully-integrated mining and downstream processing project to produce battery-grade lithium hydroxide from a lithium mica feedstock. The project will create some 200 jobs and is welcomed by the local community.

The company is planning underground mining at San José, leaving next to no disturbance to local terrain and reducing dust and noise production. Underground mining will allow the non-toxic waste tailings to be reinserted back underground as part of the immediate rehabilitation process. The underground mining portal will be at the site of the lithium processing facility.

The San José project will use electricity renewable sources to reduce its environmental impact.

Extremadura New Energies chief executive officer Ramón Jiménez said: "The collaboration with regional and local authorities has provided invaluable information and criteria to advance to the formal project submission. This follows a process that is clear and transparent for all interested parties for the project. San José is critically important for the locality of Cáceres and region of Extremadura and it is essential that we incorporate all environmental and social licence requirements to continue to harness the support of the community.”

The project is an integrated lithium mining and processing proposal that plans to produce high-value lithium hydroxide for the battery industry. It is quickly working its way through the approvals process with support of the local community and government.

The environmental innovations to be adopted for the project should lead to a harmonious long-life project and a win-win situation for the company and local community.

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