19 Jan New Cornish company secures lithium exploration rights with South Crofty owners and Tregothnan Estates for Camborne and Redruth area with potential to expand across Cornwall
New Cornish company secures lithium exploration rights in Camborne and Redruth area
A Cornish company could begin lithium production in the Camborne and Redruth area after signing mineral rights agreements with the owners of South Crofty mine and the Tregothnan Estate.
Cornish Lithium has announced that it plans to explore for, and to potentially develop, lithium contained in underground hot spring brines after making deals with Strongbow mining and Tregothnan.
Cornish Lithium’s legal agreements encompass a large area centered around the area of Camborne, Redruth and St Day, as well as other areas of Cornwall which the copmpany agrees has potential, and negotiations are ongoing with other Cornish mineral rights owners.
Lithium, the majority of which is produced in South America, Australia and China, is in demand globally for the production of lithium-ion batteries, and has seen a rapid growth in demand due to the development of electric cars. The UK government has defined lithium as a metal of strategic importance to the country, and Cornish Lithium believes new technology offers the potential to extract lithium in Cornwall while it will also draw on the technical knowledge in the county, especially at the Camborne School of Mines.
It would focus on using drill holes to extract the mineral from lithium bearing salt water, rather than using more traditional mining practices.
The company has also secured rights to geothermal energy contained in the hot spring brines. It is anticipated that this energy will be utilised to generate power to reduce processing costs, but also may be used for other industries in the region.
The company is now looking for funding, with a £5million projected budget for the exploration phase of the work.
Jeremy Wrathall, chief executive of Cornish Lithium, said: “The rights secured cover the key areas of interest based on historic recordings of lithium in such springs, allowing us to further investigate these occurrences and to identify potential sites for commercial extraction facilities.”
George Eustice, MP for Camborne, Redruth and Hayle, added: “The recognition of lithium in mineralised waters beneath areas of Cornwall represents an opportunity for a new mineral extraction industry in Britain. This is exciting news for Cornwall, with the potential to create new jobs and industry.”