ASX-listed mining company Infinity Lithium has secured €18.8m ($20m) in grant funding from the Spanish Government to support its San José lithium project.

Spain’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism has agreed to provide the funding under regulations of the second call of the programme, the Strategic Project for the Recovery and Economic Transformation of the Electric and Connected Vehicle (PERTE VEC II). The regulations are aligned with the submissions of critical raw materials.

Under PERTE VEC II, a total of €190.4m has been committed, in addition to other grant funding. This brings the total to €528.7m across 26 projects to advance the national EV battery chain.

For the San José project, the funds committed were the sixth-largest grant announced under PERTE VEC II and the first to be allocated for processing critical raw materials.

Support from the government is considered to be a major milestone for the project and is a precedent for future grant funding opportunities.

Under PERTE VEC II, funds were awarded for equipment and installation for projects across several segments of the EV battery chain.

It has also reinforced Spain’s goal to bring it to the forefront in the development of a supply chain of locally available critical raw materials for the final manufacture of EVs.

Infinity Lithium managing director and CEO Ryan Parkin said: “We are very pleased with the significant funding support awarded for San José. This is a significant milestone for both the company and the project. The company welcomes the government’s commitment to recognising the critical importance of lithium and its endorsement of the project.

“These first funding commitments for the processing of critical raw materials in Spain places the company at the forefront of future funding pathways at both the national and European level.”

Other selected applicants for final assessment included Ford, Renault, Stellantis, Seat and Envision AESC Spain.

By recalibrating the supply chain of the automotive industry, a shift towards mass adoption of EVs can take place, which is critical for the country.

The industry represents 10% of gross domestic product and 18% of exports in the country.

Infinity Lithium owns a 75% stake in the San José project, located in the Extremadura region in the country.

It is a fully integrated project that uses hard rock lithium resources as feedstock for the lithium chemicals conversion plant.

According to an updated scoping study on the project, the indicated and inferred resources at the project total 111.3 million tonnes with 0.28% lithium and 0.61 lithium oxide.