22 May Cornish Lithium: Exploration Update
We are pleased to report that our exploration programme is progressing well, and the technical team has now grown to 7 geologists and a digital archivist, all based at our offices in Cornwall. Our focus remains firmly on the excellent potential for extracting lithium from geothermal brines over a large area in Cornwall. The imminent restart of exploration for geothermal power in Cornwall is expected to boost understanding of the subsurface geology and the flow of lithium bearing fluids.
Lithium in geothermal brines in Cornwall was first recognised in 1864 but it is only now that the potential of this resource is becoming recognised, given its potential importance to UK industry. (Fig 1. Mine plan showing the discovery of lithium at United Mines. Fig 2 & 3 showing excerpts from scientific paper of 1864 regarding the discovery of lithium in Cornwall.)
Figure 1 – Wheal Clifford abandoned mine plan – R103 transverse section
Figures 2 & 3 – Miller, W.A., 1864, Chemical examination of a hot spring containing caesium and lithium in Wheal Clifford, Cornwall: Chem. News, v. 10, p. 181-182; Mining and Smelting Mag., v. 6, p. 197-198
Cornish Lithium has recently completed an Innovate UK funded project run in conjunction with the Satellite Applications Catapult, which tested the validity of using satellite data to identify geological structures which may host lithium-enriched brines at depth across two study areas in Cornwall. Satellites were used to map features such as clay alteration, temperature anomalies and geological structures which are valuable data to be incorporated in to Cornish Lithium’s exploration programme. Using the same data sets, the team has also developed a digital environmental baseline map to show priority habitats, flood risk areas and urban settlements to act as an environmental monitoring tool. The project was a fantastic opportunity to work closely with partners such as the Camborne School of Mines, British Geological Survey and environmental consultants to realise the potential of earth observation data to improve mineral exploration.
In addition, Cornish Lithium are undertaking a groundbreaking exercise using modern digital technology to reinterpret data from historic mining plans and documents. This exercise has already yielded insights that were impossible to see before the advent of three-dimensional digital modelling. The team continues to assemble data on geology and complex mineral rights holdings in Cornwall in order to capture the wealth of geological and mineralogical information that exists on historic maps and plans. Our digital archivist, Neil Williams, is working closely with our partner mineral rights owners to image and archive many historically-significant documents that have been provided to us, many of which have not been seen for several decades. This data is then being assembled in digital format using our new geological modelling software, Leapfrog, which enables us to visualise the geology and structures in 3D and so gain a deeper understanding on the controls on mineralisation in Cornwall.
As a result of the growth our project, and in the size of our team, the company recently moved to a bigger office within the Tremough Innovation Centre at Penryn. We have also appointed Chris McMellon as Company Secretary, who has a wealth of experience within the mining and quarrying sector in Cornwall.