Infinity Lithium says its battery training and development programs offered through its subsidiary Extremadura New Energies have been declared a “strategic” qualification by the local regional government.
The Extremadura Public Employment Service (SEXPE), part of the Regional Government of Extremadura, will now provide grants through public funding in coming months to advance the company’s training initiatives.
Infinity says the funding commitment is the first government grant aligned to its San José lithium project in Spain. The project sits near the town of Cáceres in the region of Extremadura and boasts one of Europe’s leading JORC-compliant hard-rock lithium deposits, with a total indicated and inferred resource base of 111 million tonnes at 0.61 per cent lithium oxide.
The company says SEXPE recognises that the project is of special interest for the region due to its significant potential impact on employment opportunities and the evolution of the lithium industry in Extremadura.
The training programs were put together by the European Battery Alliance as part of its EBA250 Battery Academy and are designed to upskill locals for future opportunities in the lithium battery industry.
Extremadura New Energies chief executive officer Ramón Jiménez said: “The SEXPE decision recognises Extremadura New Energies’ business project as of special interest for the region of Extremadura, and as the only one carrying out technical training plans in lithium technology. The funds committed to the programs reinforce our commitment with the city and the citizens of Cáceres.”
In April last year, Extremadura New Energies executed an agreement with the European Battery Alliance for the provision of training and development courses following consultation with local business, industry and community groups.
Infinity has been working closely with local authorities and newly elected officials to advance its lithium project which will use renewable electricity sources to reduce its environmental impact.
San José was originally intended to be an open-pit mine. However, after consultation with regional authorities, the project has been redesigned as an underground mining operation that will lessen its impact on the surrounding region. The company says the underground deposit will be accessed through a tunnel at the beneficiation plant and will deliver no visual, audible or vibration-based effects to the people of Cáceres.
The project will both mine lithium ore and refine it into lithium chemicals suitable for the battery makers of Europe.
A 2021 scoping study estimated steady-state production on site, averaging 19,500 tonnes per annum of battery-grade lithium hydroxide over a 26-year period.
Infinity and Extremadura New Energies have previously announced the alignment of training and development courses to the local community of Cáceres and region of Extremadura, including those offered through Círculo Emprassrial Cacerño and the Cáceres Chamber of Commerce.
Source: Business News