European Metals Holdings Ltd (LON:EMH) Managing Director Keith Coughlan caught up with DirectorsTalk for an exclusive interview to discuss their latest drill results and new appointments in the company
Q1: Keith, what’s the significance of today’s drilling announcement, is it about finding more lithium?
A1: Not really, that’s not the primary aim of this drilling campaign, we already have a very deep deposit of lithium in there. It’s more about optimising the deposit, understanding more about the mineralisation and therefore working towards enhancing the economics of the project in the first 2 years of mining, this is obviously important to payback the capital as quickly as possible, build better returns, better financial ratios.
So, there is an area there between Cinovec north area and the Cinovec south, that is, if you like, a gap in the geological model and we’re testing that area to see if it’s an area that will feature in the early stage mining. So, it’s really about the optimisation of the mining plan to improve the economics early in the project and also, an added benefit is that we’ll get more core, more material, that we’ll use for our ongoing metallurgical test work and also for producing samples of end product for potential offtakers.
Q2: How many drill holes are in this programme?
A2: There’s 6.
Q3: When will you have results from the other holes?
A3: Ok, so there’s 6 in total, 5 of which have been completed, the final 1 is not far away from completion, I believe. So, the results of the other 4 if you like will be out shortly, they would have gone off for assay and it’s only when we get the analytical assays, the results of that back, that we’re able to announce the actual results of the drilling. So, that’ll come through over the next few weeks and we’ll release them as they come to hand, it might be a hole at a time or it there be 2 holes get released at once.
Q4: Now, you also announced the appointment of some key people, how do these appointments fit in with the plan for developing the project?
A4: Well, they’re vital to us developing the project going forward. As we finish the PFS and started rolling into the next stage of the definitive feasibility study, it’s important that we put together the team that’s going to take the project forward. This is both from the point of view of the owner’s team, so the people who work for European Metals itself, and then also in terms of the selection of our external consultants, the engineers and the mining people, the metallurgical people we’ll use going forward to finalise the definitive feasibility study.
So, it’s great that we’ve had Craig Reimer join us, we’ve announced Craig’s position today as the Project Manager for the study. Craig’s a very experienced Project Manager, an engineer, he’s worked for a lot of big companies on big projects in various parts of the world so he brings a lot of experience to the team for us. Working closely with Craig is Grant Harman who is our Metallurgical Consultant, Grant is very well regarded in the lithium industry from the met point of view, he did a lot of work for Talison, knows as much about lithium metallurgy as anyone around. So, those 2 guys are very key going forward, they’ll also work very closely with the external consultants when they’re chosen and also with our in-country team that’s headed up by Richard Pavlik, our Executive Director.
Q5: We see here in the UK and in Europe a lot of press about electric cars, do you see that as assisting your plans in any way?
A5: Absolutely, and you’re right, there’s been a lot of press, a lot of very recent press, July I think there was 6 or 7 significant announcements about batteries and electric vehicles, power storage and a lot of that was centred on Europe. We obviously saw the UK government join other European countries in putting a ban, or an end date, on diesel and petrol cars, the French government came out at around about the same time with a similar statement.
We saw Volvo join the list of car manufacturers in Europe who’ve stated they’re going all electric and we’ve seen Volkswagen, the world’s largest automobile manufacturer, repeat their statements that they are concerned about the security of supply of the raw materials to make batteries. They’ve even said they’d consider investing in mining so that they can secure the supplies of things like lithium and cobalt, the key ingredients in building batteries and therefore building electric vehicles.
So, all of those things are enhancing the understanding of EV’s and of the lithium-ion batteries in Europe and I firmly believe that Europe is the place to be for EV’s going forwrad as all of those very large car manufacturers in that part of the world gear up to start building significant numbers of electric vehicles.