Erma Logo

ERMA partner secures permit for lithium plant and raises €500 million in funding

ERMA is pleased to report on the recent success of one of its partners, Finnish mining and battery-chemical company Keliber, which constitutes both a significant permit approval and a windfall investment of €500 million.

Keliber recently acquired the environmental and building permits for a lithium chemical plant in the city of Kokkola in Finland. The environmental permit means that preparations for the operative phase can begin. Keliber’s CEO has called the acquisition of the environmental permit “a remarkable achievement”.

The company managed to raise €500 million for the project – by way of two share issues and one loan facility.

The zoning for Keliber’s Syväjärvi, Rapasaari and Outovesi mining areas and the Päiväneva concentrator area have also been approved by the Kokkola City Council and the Municipal Councils of Kaustinen and Kronoby. In Syväjärvi, extraction of the material necessary for constructing roads and other areas has already begun.

The news represents a great success story for ERMA and EIT RawMaterials which have supported Keliber since 2019 when it first joined our network. Thanks to pan-European collaboration, Keliber is now in a fantastic position where it can embark on the extracting and refining of materials critical for the green and digital transition.

With demand for lithium products estimated to grow by 20 percent per year in Europe and geopolitical concerns affecting non-EU supply, Keliber will be a core asset for Europe. Keliber aims to produce sustainable, high-purity lithium chemicals by utilising its own ore and to align its production with the strongest expected growth of lithium demand in Europe.

The planned annual production of the lithium chemical plant is 15,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide monohydrate. Its primary raw material is spodumene concentrate, which Keliber will produce from its own ore in the Päiväneva area of Kaustinen.

When Keliber's product is launched, lithium hydroxide is expected to be in short supply, due to the ongoing green transition that will greatly increase the demand for lithium-ion batteries.

The construction of the lithium chemical plant is scheduled to start this summer, with production to get underway in 2024.