Cornish Lithium has announced details of a £54 million initial investment from a group of leading institutional investors led by the UK Infrastructure Bank alongside The Energy & Minerals Group (EMG) and TechMet.

In its first direct equity investment, the UK Infrastructure Bank will invest approximately £24 million into the development of the UK’s critical minerals supply chain with EMG, a US-based private equity fund focused on the energy and minerals sectors, investing a similar amount.

Cornish Lithium’s largest existing institutional shareholder, TechMet, the critical minerals investment company, whose major backers include the US Government’s Development Finance Corporation (DFC), is investing a further £5.6 million, bringing its total investment into Cornish Lithium to £24 million.

The funding package is expected to significantly accelerate progress toward the creation of a domestic supply of battery grade lithium compounds, which is crucial to support the scaling up of domestic battery production for electric vehicles and battery energy storage solutions for renewable energy sources.

The initial investment is part of a larger funding package of up to an additional £168 million potential second-stage financing, which is expected to provide the equity foundation necessary for the mineral exploration and development company to achieve commercial production.

Jeremy Wrathall

Following the closing of this round of initial investment, Cornish Lithium is set to make available a further retail share offering through Crowdcube. The offer will be for up to £6.9 million and will prioritise its existing shareholders, with further details to be announced in due course.

Jeremy Wrathall, founder and CEO of Cornish Lithium, said: “Cornish Lithium has achieved its objective of defining world-class opportunities for lithium extraction in Cornwall from both lithium-enriched geothermal waters and from hard rock. It was therefore essential to secure funding from institutional investors with the financial muscle to bring our projects into commercial production. We are delighted to have secured investment from the UK Infrastructure Bank alongside EMG, as well as our much-valued partner TechMet.

“This funding will enable us to progress our Trelavour hard rock lithium project to a construction-ready status as well as complete the engineering design work required to build a demonstration-scale geothermal waters extraction facility.”