With the document, the Czech Republic and Saxony commit to cooperation in strengthening raw material, energy and fuel security and self-sufficiency, to cooperation in the field of science and research, to strengthening cross-border cooperation in climate protection, reducing emissions and to cooperation in the transformation of industry and the acquisition of strategic raw materials, especially lithium .
The meeting between the two prime ministers took place on the occasion of the two-day international scientific conference Building Bridges for the Next Generations, which is being held in the Saxon capital until May 17.
Cínovec is home to Europe’s largest lithium deposit, which is the main raw material for the production of batteries for electric cars and batteries for renewable sources. “We are on the threshold of the lithium revolution, because the use of lithium will increase significantly and Europe will intensively support the production of critical raw materials on its own territory,” said Fiala.
The extreme rise in lithium prices is hampering efforts to make electric cars cheaper
Deep mining at Cínovec is being prepared by the company Geomet, majority owned by Severočeské doly, which belongs to the ČEZ Group. The final feasibility study, which will answer basic questions related to the possibilities of lithium production at Cínovec, will be ready by the end of this year, said on Tuesday the Deputy Chairman of the CEZ Board of Directors, Pavel Cyrani. Mining itself could start at the turn of 2026 and 2027, provided that in the second half of 2025 Geomet has a construction permit.
ČEZ: A different type of mining than before 1989
The Prime Minister also sees lithium mining as an opportunity for the Ústí Region. “It is a chance to attract new investors to this region, improve living standards and create thousands of jobs. We have a chance to create a center of modern energy and renewable resources from what was once a coal region,” said Fiala. According to the prime minister, cooperation with Saxony is also important, which is why a memorandum was created, which will allow speeding up the approval processes on both sides.
According to Cyrani, the cost of the entire project is estimated at 15 billion crowns. Part of it could be covered by subsidies from the Just Transition Fund. “This is a minor part of the costs, especially for exploration work, when exploration will be expanded and mining will be opened. Otherwise, we assume commercial financing, a combination of shareholder financing and financing from banks,” Cyrani told ČTK.
ČEZ is negotiating with the mayors of the surrounding municipalities about mining. “We are trying to explain that this is a different type of mining than some may remember from before 1989, I believe we will convince everyone,” said Cyrani.
Only the entrance portal will be visible on the surface. The ore will be mined at a depth of 200 to 500 meters underground, where it will also be partially crushed. Further processing will take place near the deposit, then raw materials, including tungsten and tin, will be transported further.
In the Czech Republic, 3 percent of the world’s lithium resources
According to estimates, about three percent of the world’s lithium resources are in the Czech Republic, the vast majority in Cínovec and a small amount in Slavkovské les.
According to Cyrani, ČEZ continues to negotiate with possible investors about the project of a factory for the production of batteries for electric cars, the so-called gigafactory, on the site of the Prunéřov I lignite power plant in Chomutovsk, which is now being demolished.
Volkswagen has not yet made a decision regarding the construction of a gigafactory on the site of the airport in Líny near Pilsen. The Prime Minister said on Tuesday that it is important that the Czech Republic gets the project, because it would ensure a competitive advantage and a good future for the automotive industry. “Part of it is the solution of the airport, which could be used for the needs of the army. It is clear that we have to find a replacement space, the project will certainly not fail because of that,” said Fiala.
Uncertainty about the gigafactory in Líní remains. Earlier promises are not looked at
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