Cornish Lithium, a lithium mining company, has announced that it will be using new technology to extract lithium from mines in Cornwall. These mines are located deep under the ground, and the lithium will be extracted from hot spring brines.
The mining company revealed that with £5 million, it intends to carry out exploration tests in four to five wells that are located around St Day, Redruth and Camborne.
Cornish Lithium CEO Jeremy Wrathall stated that developing lithium mines in the county would prove to be beneficial not just for Cornwall but also for the UK as a whole. He believes that this is a wonderful opportunity to make Cornwall a mining hub again while creating a new industry in the country.
Wrathall also pointed out that the process to extract lithium is clean and eco-friendly, and it also has the ability to generate power via geothermal energy.
Lithium is used in the manufacture of drugs to treat a range of psychological disorders, such as acute mania and bipolar disorder. It also has widespread use in rechargeable car and mobile batteries, and wireless vacuum cleaners.
While China, Australia and South America are the biggest producers of lithium, Cornwall has vast deposits of lithium in its soil. However, this chemical is present in granite rocks that are situated at a depth of up to 1,000 metres.
Cornish Lithium has already entered into an agreement with Canadian mining contractor Strongbow Exploration and Mineral Exploration to carry out exploration tests. The company has also signed an agreement with Tregothnan Estates, which owns the land on which the exploration will be carried out.
Camborne School of Mines Professor Frances Wall stated that the Cornish Lithium project can ensure that the UK has its own source of lithium, which is categorised as a vital metal. Wall pointed out that there is a rising demand for this metal and the UK should take advantage of it.
It is anticipated that by 2020, the lithium market will be worth £70 billion. This is primarily due to many countries switching over to electric cars.