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Critical Metals forms joint venture with Obeikan Group for Saudi lithium hydroxide plant

Mining company Critical Metals has finalized a joint venture (JV) agreement with the Obeikan Group to establish a lithium hydroxide processing plant in Saudi Arabia.

The 50/50 JV aims to develop, construct, and commission the facility, which will process lithium spodumene concentrate sourced from Austria’s Wolfsberg Lithium Project.

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Tony Sage, Chairman and CEO of Critical Metals, emphasized the significance of the JV, stating, “Assigning this JV to Critical Metals Corp marks a major milestone for the Wolfsberg project. With two committed partners, we aim to become the first European producer of both spodumene and hydroxide. Achieving these milestones sets the stage for smoother progress ahead.”

“In the coming quarters, we plan to finalize the definitive feasibility study (DFS) and secure funding to commence construction,” Sage added. The construction of the hydroxide plant will be overseen by the board of Arabian New Energy, a newly formed entity, with funding sourced locally in Saudi Arabia.

The agreement includes the establishment of Arabian New Energy, which will exclusively purchase spodumene from Wolfsberg’s Zone 1. The plant’s initial capacity and product specifications align with Critical Metals’ long-term supply contract with automotive giant BMW.

A joint development committee will be formed to make key decisions regarding the plant’s advancement.

Earlier this year, European Lithium merged with Sizzle Acquisition to form Critical Metals.

Abdallah Obeikan, CEO of Obeikan Group, expressed optimism about the partnership, stating, “We believe this partnership will benefit all stakeholders by combining Critical Metals Corp’s technical expertise with Obeikan’s industrial knowledge and leveraging Saudi Arabia’s financial markets. This strategic global collaboration aims to support Vision 2030 and advance the new industry in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

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