UK’s Cornish Lithium finds ‘globally significant’ lithium reserves in historic mining region

Exploration firm Cornish Lithium yesterday announced it had discovered ‘globally significant’ lithium reserves in hot springs within a historic mining region in the far Southwest of the UK.

The UK government-backed company conducted tests in geothermal waters in Cornwall which have revealed some of the world’s highest grades of lithium and best overall chemical qualities.

Average lithium concentrations were found at highs at 220 mg/l, with low concentrations of total dissolved solids and ‘ultra-low’ concentrations of magnesium – a metal that makes processing more expensive.

“Cornwall has the potential to supply the UK with almost all the lithium it needs. It is that globally significant,” chief executive and founder Jeremy Wrathall said in a Zoom press conference.

Cornish Lithium is now forwarding plans to build a pilot lithium extraction plant at the United Downs Geothermal Power site, the UK’s first deep geothermal electricity plant.

The company said it expected commercial production to begin in three to five years and also noted it had already detected another four potential spots in addition to the current test site.

Since Cornish Lithium announced in 2018 it needed around US$6.2 million to advance its project, the junior has secured over $2.5 million from private backers and is looking to list on the London Stock Exchange by 2022.