Australian based exploration company Global Strategic Metals (GSM) has taken steps towards becoming the first lithium producing company in Europe, with mining leases granted for discoveries at the Wolfsberg Lithium Project in Austria.
GSM will carry out metallurgical test work over the next two years, thanks to exemptions granted by the Austrian government, in order to update the information gathered by the Carolina State Minerals Research Laboratory during the 1980s.
Under Austrian Law, mining companies are required to carry out production on an approved mining lease for a minimum of four month per year.
GSM chairman Tony Sage said the approvals were an important development for the company.
“The grant of the mining leases is a significant milestone for the company by providing long term security of tenure over the project as the company moves forward with its plans to become the first producing lithium company in Europe.”
The mining leases have been granted to GSM in perpetuity and cannot be withdrawn by the Austrian Mines Authority unless the company fails to comply with regulations stipulated in the Austrian Mining Law, the Betriebspflicht.
The Wolfsberg Lithium Project is near key infrastructure including road, rail and the cities of Wolfsberg and Deutschlandsberg. Dubai-based Exchange Minerals Group (EMG) owns 20 per cent of the Wolfsberg Lithium Project, with the majority 80 per cent held by GSM.
Lithium has a range of uses including batteries, pyrotechnical colourants and rocket propellants, low refractive optics, air purification, nuclear fusion, organic chemistry, as well as an anti-depressant medication.