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MetiNews.Com - 'This is a fantastic opportunity for Cornwall to lead the charge on environmentally-responsible extraction of this critical raw material in Europe and beyond'
Breaking News ! Cornwall’s reserves of lithium are of global significance, a prospective tech company has announced, following its best ever drilling test results on record. Cornish Lithium, based at Tremough Innovation Centre in Penryn, believes the Duchy holds some of the best reserves of the rare mineral, making Cornwall a potential world leader in the field and is seen as a potential cash cow for the county and a way to revive its mining industry but with 21st century technologies. Lithium is used in batteries for smartphones and electric cars and demand for the metal has rocketed in recent years. The company said its preliminary results from samples taken in deep geothermal waters at the United Downs Deep Geothermal Power Project near Redruth, show some of the world’s highest grades of lithium and best overall chemical qualities encountered in published records for geothermal waters anywhere in the world. The lithium extraction pilot plant at United Downs The findings are not only significant from a prospecting point of view but extraction of lithium from geothermal water is easier as the same hot rock water can be used at the same time to power up turbine and generate zero-carbon electricity and heat. Jeremy Wrathall, CEO and founder of Cornish Lithium said: "These results show that Cornish deep geothermal waters, unlike others around the world, have low salinity, meaning much lower concentrations of elements such as magnesium and sodium. Read More Related Articles Gwennap could become richest square mile on Earth once again thanks to new mining discovery Read More Related Articles Concerns for future of historic Camborne School of Mines mining engineering course after recruitment paused "When these elements are present in high concentrations it can make it difficult and more expensive to separate out the lithium compounds. Cornish geothermal waters should therefore be highly suitable for extraction methods using green direct lithium extraction (DLE) technologies." He said that lithium rich geothermal waters are increasingly being recognised as the ultimate ethical source of lithium in the world.
. Cornish Lithium has been working with Geothermal Engineering Ltd, the developer of the United Downs Geothermal Power Project and Geothermal Jubilee Pool project in Penzance.
Jeremy Wrathall is the CEO and founder of Tremough Innovation Centre based private company Cornish Lithium
(Image: Greg Martin)
GEL was recently awarded funding from the UK Government’s Getting Building Fund to build a pilot lithium extraction plant at the United Downs site. The £4 million project will design, procure, and build a pilot plant to trial DLE technology to extract lithium from the geothermal waters which circulate naturally at depth in the granite layer that form the core of Cornwall’s bedrock. Mr Wrathall added: “This is an exciting step towards the realisation of low-carbon lithium extraction from geothermal waters in Cornwall, and compliments our work to date on exploring for lithium contained within shallower geothermal waters in the county. “The pilot lithium extraction plant, part funded by the UK Government, that we will develop with GEL at the United Downs Deep Geothermal Power Project will allow us to evaluate green DLE technologies which will bring us another step closer to commercial production of lithium in Cornwall. “We now have increased confidence that these lithium-enriched geothermal waters can be found at depth across Cornwall and believe that there is significant potential to replicate combined lithium and geothermal extraction plants in different locations across the County where Cornish Lithium has mineral rights agreements in place.”
There are vast quantities of lithium locked inside granite stores up to 1,000 metres below the Cornish soil (in red)
(Image: Cornish Lithium)
It is anticipated that further testing will take place this October with a view to build a plant as soon as the results have confirmed the most recent findings. Rob Bowell, from SRK Consulting, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Cornwall to lead the charge on environmentally-responsible extraction of this critical raw material in Europe and beyond.”
Source = MetiNews.Com - Cornwall