Europeans to back Infinity at 66% premium to market
Infinity Lithium has managed to tap an innovative, European, public private partnership known as EIT InnoEnergy for at least AUD$1.5m in funding to support stage one of a lithium pilot plant at its San Jose lithium project in Spain. EIT InnoEnergy is the manager of the European Battery Alliance whose stated goal is a competitive and fully integrated battery manufacturing chain in Europe and preventing technological dependence on Asia.
The European Battery Alliance is an impressive collection of public and private entities including the European Commission, the European Investment Bank and key industry stakeholders such as automakers, battery and cathode producers.
Infinity has signed a wide ranging MoU with EIT InnoEnergy that will see the European body invest about AUD$1.5m into Infinity Lithium at AUD5c a share, representing and extraordinary 66% premium to market – and it is even more extraordinary that it comes at a time of world-wide market calamity due to the ravages of the Coronavirus.
Initially, the funds will be used for the development of Infinity’s pilot plant that will produce battery grade lithium hydroxide. Output from the stage one plant will allow the company to present selected European off takers with product to test and validate.
InnoEnergy has so far invested more than €220m for projects such as Northvolt and it has raised more than €1.7b for various projects.
Under the terms of the MoU, phase two funding for the pilot plant project will also be led by InnoEnergy and is estimated to cost between €1.6m to €2.4m or between A$3m and A$4.5m.
Infinity said that the group may source finds from EU investors or via other funding mechanisms that have been specifically put in place to support clean energy developers in the EU.
InnoEnergy will clear a path for unhindered in-country licencing and assist in creating a scheme that will target the application and protection of the new technology that will arise from the development of the pilot plant.
Infinity will also have InnoEnergy at its side to secure full project financing that may include a mix of equity and debt, which will be sought through the extensive European Battery Alliance network.
The European Battery Alliance network is a powerful ally and it also has the potential to seek out and secure European off takers for Infinity’s lithium hydroxide product.
Infinity’s Managing Director, Ryan Parkin said: “We aim to turn this MoU into a binding agreement quickly. The financial and collaborative agreement and endorsement of … InnoEnergy will bring together project partners throughout the EU lithium-ion battery supply chain to fund and develop EU’s largest battery grade lithium hydroxide plant”
“Our project is a critical component in the European Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič’s foresight to address the key strategic issue for the EU’s battery value chain, namely to develop access to raw materials and refining capacity, whilst promoting a high sustainability criteria for batteries placed on the EU market.”
Infinity’s partnership with EIT InnoEnergy cannot be overstated. Its tentacles reach across the length and breadth of the European battery, finance and Government sectors and it may well be the game changer that Infinity leads to take its project all the way to production in time.
San Jose boasts an initial 30-year mine life and is Europe’s second largest known hard rock lithium resource.
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