The first company in the UK to drill for lithium has officially changed its name from Metampere to British Lithium Limited.

The new branding was chosen to better reflect the work British Lithium has been carrying out in Cornwall. Six exploration holes were drilled in the St Austell area earlier this year and trenching to establish continuous lithium mineralisation from surface has now been completed. Two diamond holes are expected to be drilled before Christmas, with more planned from January 2020.

British Lithium is the brainchild of Roderick and Andrew Smith, working with a team of highly experienced engineers, environmental consultants, academics and geologists.

Roderick was CEO of a number of publicly listed mining companies in Australia for more than 25 years and is an acknowledged world expert in the production, supply and demand of speciality metals. A qualified chartered accountant, he has a post-graduate diploma in Mining Investment Analysis and is a Fellow of the Financial Services Institute.

Andrew Smith has worked at a senior level in the mining industry for the last thirteen years and been responsible for four successful feasibility studies. He recently project-managed the Cinovec lithium tin project in the Czech Republic and, before that, ran a large international team for Cominco’s definitive feasibility study on the $600m phosphate mine in the Republic of Congo.

Thanks to the important role lithium plays in renewable battery technology, global demand currently far outstrips supply. The metal has never been extracted from the mica in granite before – making the work British Lithium is doing in Cornwall even more exciting.

“Laboratory analysis of our initial drilling revealed over 200 metres of the ore – an exceptional result,” said Smith. “We have spent the last two years working on the project as Metampere but have now re-branded to British Lithium as what we are doing will bring huge economic benefits to the country as a whole.

“Our aim is to build a quarry and processing plant capable of producing 20,000 tonnes of lithium each year – enough to power 350,000 electric vehicles. The environmental benefits of lithium are enormous and having a major production plant in the UK means not having to reply on current producers like China, South America and Australia.”