John Walker

British Lithium has appointed John Walker as strategic advisor.

Walker started his career at Imerys in St Austell in 1990. He went on to become general manager of the company’s tableware division in Belgium, before moving to the US and taking charge of Imerys North American Ceramics.

In 2011, he joined The Quartz Corp (TQC) and led the implementation of a significant expansion of the company’s production capacity and was subsequently appointed as CEO. TQC is a joint venture between Imerys and Norsk Mineral that supplies high-purity quartz to the solar, semiconductor and optical markets. Over six years in that role, Walker oversaw TQC’s development from new entrant to a global market leader.

He will draw on his wealth of experience to assist BLL as the company moves towards production, which also includes his role as chairman of Exawatt, a provider of strategic consulting and research in the battery, power electronics, electric vehicle and solar photovoltaic (PV) industries.

“We’re delighted to welcome John to our team,” said BLL chief executive Andrew Smith.

“He has enormous expertise in our sector, knows Cornwall well and has the knowledge and contacts we need to help BLL progress from meticulous analysis and economic feasibility to operational status within the next three years.”

Roche-based BLL says it is the first company in the UK to explore for hard rock lithium and the only one so far to have established a resource. Recently it was awarded a £500k Innovate UK Smart Grant from the Government.

“I’m delighted to be working with BLL at such a milestone moment in their development,” said Walker. “Over the last three years, BLL has been quietly getting on with the job of testing a unique process for extracting lithium from micaceous granite. There is no battery-grade lithium production anywhere in Europe and the advantages of establishing an operation capable of producing 20,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate in Cornwall are huge – not just for the local community but for the whole of the UK.”