Imerys, world leader in mineral specialties for industry, announces the launch of a major lithium mining project called “the Emili project”.

The lithium will be produced at its Beauvoir site, in France, where Imerys has been producing kaolin for ceramics since the end of the 19th century.

Imerys aims to produce 34,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide per year from 2028. According to evaluations, the production at this level can have a duration of at least 25 years.

The project need an investment of €1 billion. The production cost of lithium in Beauvoir should be between €7/kg and €9/kg, a competitive level in particular on the European market.

Imerys aims to reduce CO2 emissions from its operation, in order to produce lithium with emissions that are half those of all other existing hard rock lithium operations.

It’s a good news for the European industry and also for the French automotive industry. President Emmanuel Macron is targeted 2 millions EV produced in France. Stellantis and Renault intend to produce EVs locally. They will need battery and battery materials. 

For now, France has 3 battery gigafactories projects. It’s not enough as Verkor is a start-up and a new comer, there’s a bigger risk to fail compared to Envision project, for example.

This lithium project will help to less dependent from China, Australia and South America. There’s also a potential for another lithium mine in Alsace, France.

Recently, The Japanese company Wscope has teamed up with the French Alteo to invest 600 million euros in a factory for battery separators for Evs. The start of production is scheduled for 2026.

France seems to speed up investments in the battery materials area. It was time for the second European automotive market.

To be honest, I was a little bit disappointed by the lack of investments and the lack of commitment from politicians in France.

Source: Imerys