Cornish Lithium has signed a definitive mineral rights agreement with Strongbow Exploration and Mineral Exploration to conduct lithium exploration in the underground hot spring brines in Cornwall, UK.
Cornish Lithium has also signed a heads of agreement with Tregothnan Estates for similar lithium acitivities in the same area.
The presence of lithium was discovered in Cornwall in the mid-19th century. The emerging battery market and need for power storage offer vast potentiality for lithium mining.
Cornish Lithium CEO Jeremy Wrathall said: “We are delighted to have signed agreements with Strongbow Exploration, Mineral Exploration Limited and Tregothnan Estates to explore for, and to commercially develop, lithium contained in hot spring brines.
“The rights secured cover the key areas of interest based on historic recordings of lithium in such springs, allowing us to further investigate these occurrences and to identify potential sites for commercial extraction facilities.
“Cornish Lithium has been set-up to explore the potential for a lithium industry in the UK; which would give the country significant strategic advantages in a world increasingly focussed on zero emissions and renewable power.
“We believe the potential benefits of developing a lithium industry in Cornwall will be significant for the county and for the UK as a whole.”
Cornish Lithium’s legal agreement covers large areas in Camborne, Redruth and St Day in Cornwall.
According to company, the agreements also cover other areas of Cornwall that may be prospective for geothermal hot spring brines.
Negotiations are currently proceeding with other owners of mineral rights within Cornwall.
The company believes that hot spring brines host high levels of lithium due to the interaction between highly saline water from a nearby sedimentary basin and the granite under Cornwall.
With a long mining history, Cornwall offers necessary infrastructure with an experienced workforce.
Camborne, Redruth and Hayle MP George Eustice said: “The recognition of lithium in mineralised waters beneath areas of Cornwall represents an opportunity for a new mineral extraction industry in Britain. This is exciting news for Cornwall, with the potential to create new jobs and industry.
“Lithium is a strategic mineral given its importance in modern technologies and its applications in products ranging from power storage batteries to electric cars.
“If the team at Cornish Lithium is successful in developing this opportunity the UK may not have to rely on imports of this vital mineral in future.”
Cornish Lithium plans to extract lithium bearing hot spring brines through the usage of drill holes. It expects that the exploration phase will require a funding of around £5m.