Minister visits Imerys lithium project

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Nusrat Ghani MP, Minister for Industry and Economic Security, visited Imerys British Lithium’s pilot plant near Roche in mid-Cornwall this week.

Ghani was joined by Steve Double, MP for St Austell and Newquay, and Matt Hatfield, head of critical minerals and mining, DBT.

Ghani said: “The south west has a proud and productive mining history and heritage dating back to the Bronze Age and was the world centre for the industry in the 18th century.

“I am absolutely delighted to see for myself how we are building on this wealth of expertise and promoting the south west as a world-class mining and mineral hub, boosting jobs, growth and levelling-up both here and across the UK.”

“By 2040 , the world will need four times more critical minerals like lithium than it does today. It is vital we secure them to improve supply chain resilience, supporting both our economy today and prosperity in the future.”

The Imerys British Lithium team is currently completing a pre-feasibility study with the goal of producing over 20,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate – every year – before the end of the decade. That’s enough for 500,000 car batteries a year – every year – for approximately 30 years.

CEO Alan Parte said: “We look forward to completing our pre-feasibility study this year and moving into the planning phase in 2025, working closely with the Department for Business and Trade, the Office for Investment, and our local MP to deliver this unique project that aims to contribute to the UK’s energy transition and the development of an integrated EV value chain.”