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Sibanye-Stillwater says received ‘key' environmental permit for its lithium project in Finland

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(Kitco News) - Sibanye-Stillwater (NYSE: SBSW) reported Monday that the anticipated environmental permit for the Keliber lithium project’s Rapasaari mine and Päiväneva concentrator was received from the Regional State Administrative Agency for Western and Inland Finland (AVI) on 28 December 2022.

The company said that separate permit applications for the Rapasaari mine and Päiväneva concentrator filed on 30 June 2021 were subsequently combined into one permit by the AVI. The proposed mining and processing activities authorised by the AVI permit are located in the municipalities of Kaustinen, Kokkola and Kronoby, Finland.

The Rapasaari mine operations will comprise the extraction of ore and waste rock, disposal of the waste rock, and discharge of water from the area.

The concentrator operations in Päiväneva include mineral processing, tailings and process water treatment, water intake from the river Köyhäjoki and responsible discharge of overflow to the river, it added.

Importantly, the company said that the permit decision from the AVI include a water management permit for the concentrator and the right to start operations despite the existence of any appeals.

“We are pleased to have received this key environmental permit soon after being granted approval for the Keliber lithium refinery in Kokkola, which is preparing for the construction phase to start within the following weeks. Our aim is to advance the project within schedule while ensuring our environmental impact is as low as possible while we follow the required processes to ensure all permitting conditions are reasonable, unambiguous and will be practical to implement and adhere to,” stated CEO Neal Froneman.

Keliber is an advanced lithium project, located in Kaustinen and Kokkola, Finland. Keliber aims to be the first European producer of battery-grade lithium hydroxide from its own mined ore reserves. Keliber is a subsidiary of Sibanye-Stillwater, a multinational mining and metals processing Group. On 3 October 2022, Sibanye-Stillwater announced that its effective shareholding in Keliber Oy has increased to 84.96%.

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