Lithium plans to go on display


Following a series of events consulting with local businesses and councillors, Imerys British Lithium (IBL) is running the first of this year’s public consultation sessions.

Anyone interested in viewing the company’s plans for a full-scale lithium processing plant is invited to drop into Roche Victory Hall Social Club on Wednesday February 21 from 2-7pm, ask questions and give their feedback.

Imerys and British Lithium announced a joint venture to form IBL last summer.

As a global expert in minerals for a variety of industries including ceramics, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, Imerys is one of Cornwall’s largest employers.

British Lithium was established in 2017 by highly-experienced mining professionals who, since then, have been researching and developing newly patented methods of extracting lithium and producing lithium carbonate from Cornish granite.

An operational pilot plant has been up and running near Roche for the last two years and is already producing high quality lithium carbonate. Now IBL is planning to upscale its operation by building the world’s first integrated lithium quarry and production plant – on land previously used for clay extraction over centuries.

“We aim to be one of the most sustainable lithium producers in the world,” said IBL chief executive Andrew Smith.  “By having everything on the same site and close to our intended customers, waste and transport will be minimised and local renewable energy will be used to power as much of the site as possible.

“The planning and permitting process will take two years and so will subsequent construction.  Local suppliers will be contracted whenever possible and we’ll be employing more than 300 staff on site once we’re fully up and running.”

Further public consultations are being planned in the coming months at Bugle, Trewoon, Penwithick, St Austell, Treverbyn, St Dennis, St Stephen and Fraddon.