Canada-based Rock Tech Lithium has secured approval to initiate early construction work on its lithium converter in Guben, Germany. 

The permission allows the company to start essential groundwork and the construction of roads, office and storage buildings.

Rock Tech plans to commence the first major work on-site at the proposed plant within the upcoming weeks. 

Planned to be commissioned in 2025, the Guben lithium converter project will entail an investment of $683m.

It will be equipped to process spodumene concentrates into battery-grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate (LHM) via the sulphation-causticisation (S-C) route.

The project will have a 24,000tpa production capacity of battery-grade lithium hydroxide, a raw material used by the battery and automotive industries.

Rock Tech chief operating officer Klaus Schmitz said: “Our converter will be one of the first of its kind in Europe. 

“The production of our battery-grade lithium hydroxide will be an essential part of the battery mineral supply chains in Europe – this is another reason why the approval by the authority is an important step towards implementation and sends a clear signal to the market.” 

The cleantech company has already invested more than $37m in planning the design and construction of the Guben lithium plant. 

In March 2022, Rock Tech Lithium signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Romanian Government to build a lithium-hydroxide converter with a €400m investment.

The Romanian facility is one of the five lithium-hydroxide converters planned to be built by the company by 2029.