16 Jul Hunt for ‘white gold’ in Cornwall intensifies and your help is needed
A tech prospecting mineral company is opening itself up to investment in a bid to raise funds that will allow more drilling tests for white gold.
Cornish Lithium Ltd, has been using 3D modelling and satellite imaging and space age technologies to prospect for lithium in Cornwall’s bed rock.
The firm, based at the Tremough Innovation Centre in Penryn , has been using the latest technologies to show Cornwall’s true potential when it comes to rare metals.
The firm has also been drilling deep into the Earth’s crust for a series of real-life tests to confirm what tech tests have shown and confirm the investment potential to potential backers ahead of exploitation.
Lithium is a vital component of lithium-ion batteries, such as those used in electric vehicles and mobile phones, and demand for the metal is growing across the globe.
Director of Cornish Lithium Jeremy Wrathall (Image: Greg Martin)
Founded by Jeremy Wrathall, Cornish Lithium said the drilling would allow the company to extract samples of lithium-bearing brines and test its deposit model.
The firm, which employs 13 staff, believes the lack of exploration in Cornwall for more than 30 years means one of the most highly mineralised areas in Europe remains untouched by modern exploration techniques and the potential for strategic metals such as lithium is therefore enormous.
There are vast quantities of lithium locked inside granite stores up to 1,000 metres below the Cornish soil (in red) (Image: Cornish Lithium)
Mr Wrathall said Cornish Lithium has received a huge expression of interest over the years from people in Cornwall and beyond looking to invest in the business and in lithium.
The funds raised through Crowdcube will go towards progressing the company’s drilling programme and expanding ongoing exploration in the region.
Mr Wrathall said he chose Crowdcube because the platform offers investors the opportunity to become direct legal shareholders in Cornish Lithium. Crowdcube is also based in the Southwest of England.
He said: “We are very happy to announce that the campaign is now live. This is a really exciting time for Cornish Lithium and we are extremely grateful to everyone who has expressed such interest in the company, which provided the momentum to begin this crowdfunding campaign.
“It is a testament to the work that we are doing and a demonstration of the awareness and drive for a future supply chain of lithium and battery metals within the UK.
“We strongly believe in the potential of lithium extraction in the County and look forward to welcoming new, as well as seasoned, investors to join us on the exciting journey ahead.
“The potential to develop a new industry in Cornwall, focused on metals which will be key to a low-carbon future, could be of huge importance for the future of British industry.”
A lump of lithium dubbed the white petroleum
He added: “We believe this is the first UK crowdfund in the mining sector and comes at a time when many junior exploration companies globally are struggling to raise funds via traditional markets.
“Our Enterprise Investment Scheme (“EIS”) relief offers a substantial tax incentive to qualifying UK based investors but such investors have to commit to stay invested for three years.
“The use of crowdfunding therefore gives long term investors the ability to invest in an industry that requires long term commitment, as was the case when equity investors first funded mining projects in Cornwall many years ago.”
Records from Cornwall’s 19th-century heyday as a producer of tin and copper show that lithium was contained within hot springs which occurred naturally, deep within its mines.
The electric car market is seen as an attractive investment opportunity by many.
These waters are believed to circulate through natural permeable structures which act as pathways through the hard, impermeable rock.
The extensive mining for tin and copper that took place in Gwennap parish in past centuries has yielded a wealth of information that suggests lithium may be present in geothermal waters beneath historic mine workings at United Downs.
Cornish Lithium is planning to carry out test boreholes which will be about 1,000 metres deep and 12cm in diameter, and will intercept the geological structures well below known historic mine workings where lithium brine may be located.
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