Matt Atlas

Czech Gigafactory: CEZ To Build Lithium Battery Plant

CEZ seeks investors for Czech Gigafactory

CEZ plans to build a Czech Gigafactory to manufacture lithium batteries in North Bohemia. The plant will produce batteries for electric vehicles using lithium from the Czech and German mines.

The project will be one of the most significant investments of its kind in Central Europe. The company wants to use lithium from the Cínovec area in the Ore Mountains. State-owned CEZ is looking for partners in the automotive and technology industries to invest in the so called Czech Gigafactory.

CEZ will begin mining lithium by 31 March. The question is whether it is possible to separate lithium from mica in the area.

Last November, CEZ entered a strategic partnership with the Australian mining company European Metals Holdings (EMH), which includes a significant investment in the lithium mining project in Cínovec. When the agreement takes effect CEZ will acquire a 51 percent stake in Geodet, a Czech subsidiary of EMH, which owns mining rights, for EUR 34.06 million (approximately CZK 853 million). CEZ said they have also entered into a partnership with Slovak InoBat. Which intends to build a similar battery factory in Slovakia.

Similar projects are now a priority in the European Union, given the importance of the car industry and climate protection. As a major car manufacturer, the Czech Republic is a logical candidate for the development of the battery industry.

Many consider lithium the metal of the future. According to estimates, three percent of the world’s lithium is in the Czech Republic. Of which the vast majority are in Cínovec and a small amount in the Slavkov Forest. The deposit near Cinovec is the largest in Europe. Lithium and its use were one of the main topics of the parliamentary elections in 2017. Which caused disputes in the then CSSD, ANO, and KDU-CSL government.