The Government has granted funding for a new study to assess the feasibility of developing a UK supply of lithium.
The project, Lithium for the UK (Li4UK), aims to help meet the anticipated huge increase in demand for the battery metal from the electric vehicles industry.
The study will be led by a consortium of three organisations – Truro-based mining consultancy Wardell Armstrong, exploration company Cornish Lithium and the Natural History Museum.
The funding is part of the Faraday Battery Challenge, designed to develop safe and efficient batteries in the UK to power the next generation of electric vehicles as part of a push for innovative energy solutions.
It forms part of the Government’s drive to ‘maintain the UK as a world-leader in the latest technologies and emerging markets, through its modern Industrial Strategy.’ The consortium will assess the feasibility of extracting and converting a supply of lithium from the UK in to battery-grade material.
Jeremy Wrathall, Founder & CEO of Cornish Lithium Ltd. commented: “This is an historic opportunity for Cornwall to participate in the development of a possible source of lithium for the UK. We are delighted to be part of the consortium and look forward to working with Wardell Armstrong and the Natural History Museum on this exciting project.
“By bringing together experts in the field, the consortium hopes to produce research which will enable the UK to power the next generation of electric vehicles and build upon its reputation for excellence.”
Meanwhile, this summer Cornish Lithium is planning to drill two or three test boreholes in the Gwennap area, following discussions with local landowners.
The test boreholes will be approximately 1,000m deep and 12 cm in diameter, and intercept the geological structures below known historic mine workings.
Wrathall added: “Our geologists will take samples from these boreholes to measure the amount of lithium that is contained within the geothermal waters. We are currently in conversation with local landowners and hope to agree on suitable drilling sites by the end of June.”