29 Jul The rise of electric cars could lead to a lithium boom in Cornwall, claims firm raising £5m to mine the battery material
- Cornish Lithium wants to hunt for the ore in underground springs
- It aims to raise £5million to find and extract lithium
- Lithium is a key material for electric car batteries
Lithium, a key ingredient in batteries for electric cars, is found in Chile, China, Australia – and Cornwall?
According to Cornish Lithium, which is looking to raise £5million to extract the metal, the answer is an emphatic ‘yes’.
The company says several historical records show lithium is present in underground hot springs in Cornwall
‘White petroleum’: Lithium ore is believed to be in underground springs in Cornwall
A spokesman added: ‘We believe the lithium is there and in quite commercial amounts.
We need to put down test bore holes to bring it to the surface.’
The firm, founded by mining analyst Jeremy Wrathall, an engineering graduate from the Camborne School of Mines in Cornwall, has deals with three of the major holders of mineral rights in the county.
They are Tregothnan Estates, Strongbow Exploration and Mineral Exploration. Cornwall Lithium has the rights to all the lithium discovered on the 30,000 hectares (75,000 acres) of land they collectively own in return for a royalty.
Wrathall admits the project is in its infancy and said: ‘This has a lot of risk like most early stage mining projects.’
But if he is successful, it could result in a whole new industry for Britain as the price of lithium soars.
The Solactive Global Lithium Index, which charts the total returns of 26 of the world’s biggest lithium miners and lithium battery producers, has risen by 55 per cent since the start of 2016.