The green energy movement is gaining momentum as the demand for electric alternatives to power, transportation and production accelerates. To meet this growing demand, accessibility and supply chain considerations of the critical metals needed to power this revolution are key in transitioning to a more sustainable world.
Analysts expect global lithium demand to reach 1 million tonnes lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) by 2025, from 47,300 tonnes in 2020 to 117,400 tonnes in 2024, owing largely to rapidly increasing electric vehicle production. As the West competes for this limited resource, securing local lithium sources to meet increasing demand will be the key to minimizing environmental impact, transportation costs and carving a place in the future of green energy that is fast becoming a reality.
Rock Tech Lithium Inc. (TSXV:RCK,FWB:RJIB) is an emerging lithium ChemTech company focused on bridging the gap between resource-rich Canada and process-focused Europe. Aiming to be one of the first lithium hydroxide producers outside of China, the company will capture a first-mover advantage in the growing Western lithium market.
Rock Tech has a significant raw material feedstock from its wholly owned, high-quality Georgia Lake spodumene project in Ontario, Canada. Having core operations in Canada strategically positions the company in a jurisdiction with historically safe mining-friendly conditions and one of the cleanest sources of lithium in the world.
The company is pursuing a two-pillar approach that includes the production of sustainably sourced spodumene feedstock at Georgia Lake and the construction of a lithium hydroxide converter in Europe, becoming a critical component of the growing lithium-ion battery supply chain.
“Rock Tech Lithium is building the first-ever lithium hydroxide converter in Europe, playing a key role in the rapid expansion of the lithium-ion battery supply chain and the burgeoning electric vehicle market,” according to company officials. This would make Rock Tech one of the first movers for lithium hydroxide supply in Europe. In collaboration with the world-renowned Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg, commonly known outside Germany as the Freiberg University of Mining and Technology, the oldest university of mining and metallurgy in the world, the company has developed an innovative nitrate process that has the potential to reduce energy consumption and increase by-product revenue streams.
Lithium hydroxide production is planned to start in 2023. The company already has a fully funded pre-feasibility study on its lithium hydroxide converter underway with a PFS at Georgia Lake beginning shortly, which significantly pushes project advancement. As part of the PFS, Rock Tech will be conducting pilot-scale tests to better understand the scalability of its innovative lithium process and provide material for further customer qualification testing.
The company maintains a tight share structure with an anti-dilution approach to minimize financing risk in the future. The shareholder portfolio also includes a deeply connected mix of directors, management and cornerstone shareholders with ownership of just over 70 percent of the outstanding shares. The company presently has approximately 55 million shares issued and outstanding.
Rock Tech Lithium’s management team is a diverse group of entrepreneurs, mining and processing experts with combined track records of successfully building industrial projects globally. Dedication to stakeholder interests and exploration aligned with sustainability and economic development goals primes the company for significant success and growth in the booming lithium and green energy space.
Rock Tech Lithium’s Company Highlights
- Canada-based emerging lithium ChemTech company focused on becoming vertically integrated by developing its high-quality 100 percent owned lithium resource in Georgia Lake, Ontario, and patented processing lithium hydroxide operations in Europe.
- The company is building the first-ever lithium hydroxide converter in Europe, which could significantly aid the current lithium-ion battery supply chain and growing electric vehicle market demands.
- Rock Tech’s innovative nitrate process was a collaborative effort created in partnership with the world-renowned Freiberg University of Mining and Technology in Germany. The innovative process has the potential to substantially save energy and produce greater by-product revenue streams.
- The company intends on beginning lithium hydroxide production in 2023. Completing a pre-feasibility study and finalizing negotiations for financing and subsidies in Canada and Europe are part of its ongoing goals.
Rock Tech Lithium’s Georgia Lake Project
The Georgia Lake lithium project is a spodumene-bearing lithium project located northeast of Thunder Bay, Ontario. Historical exploration on the property and several drill campaigns from 2009 to 2017 have positioned the project for fast-tracked development. The company has also filed a patent for its innovative lithium hydroxide process, which could considerably reduce inherent carbon dioxide emissions and reduce waste costs.
A 2018 NI 43-101 Technical Report based on 351 drill holes reported a compliant resource estimate of 6.58 million tonnes (measured and indicated) and 6.72 million tonnes (inferred). A PEA, on a non-vertically integrated operation, from the same year estimated an 11 year mine life, including open pit and underground operations for the Main Resource Zone with Life of Mine Revenue set at C$1,136 million.
The mining to refining approach places Rock Tech in a unique first-mover position with operations wholly in the West. The sustainable lithium supply from Georgia Lake will be transported to Germany for lithium hydroxide refining and battery-grade output. Rock Tech intends on starting production in 2023 and completing its fully funded pre-feasibility studies for the project this year.
RockTech Lithium’s Management Team
Dirk Harbecke — Chairman of the Board
Dirk Harbecke has more than 25 years of experience as a manager, entrepreneur and investor with international activities in Africa, China, the Middle East, Europe and the United States. He also worked at the Boston Consulting Group and was the co-founder and CEO of ADC African Development Corporation AG (ADC), a German-listed investment group. Under his leadership, ADC became a leading pan-African financial services group. Harbecke holds an MBA degree from St. Gallen University in Switzerland.
Simon Bodensteiner — Director & CEO
Simon Bodensteiner is a mining engineer with over 15 years of professional experience in Germany and Australia. He gained extensive knowledge in corporate, operational and technical roles and worked for both world-class firms, including Rio Tinto and the Boston Consulting Group and junior mining companies. Bodensteiner has a record of success in project management and deals negotiations in open pit and underground environments, focusing on mine strategy improvements.
Brad Barnett — Director & CFO
Brad Barnett has been with Rock Tech Lithium since 2010. He originally joined as an accountant before being promoted to CFO in 2015. Barnett has extensive experience in regulatory filings, compliance and finance. He holds a Master of Science in Corporate Finance, a Bachelor of Business Administration (Honours) and a Diploma in Financial Management (Honours).
Klaus Schmitz — Director
Klaus Schmitz possesses broad and global operational expertise, including comprehensive experience in Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) for both conventional and renewable power generation and industrial plants. He was previously the COO and deputy chairman of the Management Board for Hitachi Power Europe and the Executive president and head of the Power Division for Bilfinger SE. Additionally, Schmitz has served as an advisor for Dussmann, McKinsey, Nippon Denka Kogyosho, Osaka, INP and DSD Steel Group.
Dr. Peter Kausch, Ph.D., M.Sc. — Director
Dr. Peter Kausch holds a Doctorate and Masters of Science degrees in Mining Engineering and has over 40 years of experience in the natural resources sector. He has worked as an advisor to the United Nations Seabed Committee and held various progressive positions with Rheinbraun AG (now RWE Power AG), including managing director of Rheinbraun US GmbH and chairman of Rheinbraun Australia Pty Ltd, Sydney.
Dr. Wolfgang Voigt, Ph.D. — Director
Dr. Wolfgang Voigt is Professor Emeritus in Inorganic Chemistry at the Technische Universität Freiberg, Germany. His research focus for the last 20 years has mainly centered on salt chemistry, particularly lithium chemicals. He has previously been engaged in several brine and hard rock lithium projects worldwide and combines technical knowledge of proven processes with innovative technological concepts for more efficient spodumene conversion.
Dr. Jingyuan Liu, Ph.D. — Technical Advisor
Dr. Jingyuan Liu is a world-leading mining and processing engineer who has overseen the planning, construction, and operation of downstream lithium plants and consulted various high-profile lithium projects worldwide. He holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Newcastle, Australia. Dr. Liu is currently Principal of Process Engineering at Wave International, a renowned Australian resource consultancy and engineering firm with a critical focus on lithium projects and further acts as General Manager, Operations for Altech Chemicals Ltd.
RockTech Lithium’s Advisory Board
Prof. Dr. Heinz Riesenhuber — Director
Prof. Riesenhuber served as Member of the German Parliament (Deutscher Bundestag) from 1976 to 2017. He is still acting President of the German Parliamentary Society (Deutsche Parlamentarische Gesellschaft). From 1982 to 1993 he served as Minister of Scientific Research and Technology. Before, he held several management positions in the German Metallgesellschaft AG, formerly one of Germany’s largest industrial conglomerates with over 20,000 employees and revenues exceeding US$10 billion, specializing in mining, specialty chemicals and commodity trading. Riesenhuber served as Director on the Boards of EVOTEC (as Chairman), Henkel, Altana and Mannesmann.
Carl-Peter Forster — Director
Carl-Peter Forster started his career at McKinsey & Company as a management consultant. After four years there, he joined BMW in Munich, where he became a member of the Executive Board in 1999 as head of global manufacturing. In 2001, he joined the European division of General Motors and became Managing Director of Opel and Vice President of GM Europe. In 2006 he became CEO and President of GM Europe and joined the parent company’s Global Automotive Strategy Board. After leaving General Motors, he became Group CEO at Tata Motors.
Norbert Steiner — Director
Norbert Steiner acted as CEO of the German MDAX company K+S Aktiengesellschaft from 2007 to 2017, the largest mining company in Germany. Amongst other topics, he was responsible for Corporate Development, Governance, Risk, and the Business Units Salt, Potash and Magnesium Products. K+S had revenues from 2013 to 2015 between 3.8 billion euros and 4.2 billion euros, operating earnings (EBIT) through the same period between 640 euros and 780 million euros and almost 15,000 employees worldwide, thereof 10,000 in Germany.
Prof. Jens Gutzmer — Director
Prof. Gutzmer is the Founding Director of the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology and Professor of Economic Geology and Petrology at the Department of Mineralogy, TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Germany. As coordinator and founding CEO he was involved in 2014 and 2015 setting up the EIT Raw Materials, an EU-funded Knowledge and Innovation Community that has become the world’s leading partnership for innovation and education in the raw materials sector.
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