Austrian lithium projects seeks IPO as drive for EVs grows.

FT: “….Several deals this year have suggested increased investor interest in lithium, and Tesla’s plans have focused fresh attention on sources of supply.”
“In July Albemarle Corporation took over Rockwood, one of the largest lithium producers, in a $6.2bn deal. Rockwood had previously acquired 49 per cent of Talison, an Australian lithium miner, for $475m.
Most of the world’s lithium supply comes either from hard rock mines in Australia or is extracted from brines from salt lakes in the Andes. Tesla itself is expected to try to source lithium in the US.
Lithium production is virtually unknown in Europe, which accounts for about a quarter of global demand. Rio Tinto, the world’s second-largest miner by market capitalisation, owns a large lithium project in Serbia which is still some years from being developed.
The developers of the Austrian deposit, European Lithium, have not said how much they intend to produce but expect that annual output could exceed the 9,000 tonnes per year outlined in a previous study. Annual global demand is about 150,000 tonnes.
The deposit – at Wolfsberg in southern Austria – was explored in the 1980s
. Steve Kesler, European Lithium’s chief executive, said: “The biggest plus is that this is not an early stage greenfield project . . .  we are building on a lot of work done by previous owners.” Previous studies found almost 17m tonnes of resources that could be mined for 12 years.
European Lithium wants to raise £5m via an Aim listing that would offer about 16 per cent of the company to new investors. The project was previously owned by Global Strategic Metals, an Australian company that delisted from the Australian market this year.
European Lithium said it was “confident of the robust demand outlook and pricing forecasts for lithium, as well as funding availability for development of such a potentially strategic project in Europe”.
The developer wants to complete studies on the mine’s feasibility next year with a view to production starting in 2018.”