Investors in mining start-up Cornish Lithium have put another £1-million into the exploration company to continue its activities in south-west England and to drill exploratory boreholes to extract samples of lithium-bearing brines.
The company said in January last year that it needed about £5-million to develop its project, newswire Reuters reports.
The company is targeting lithium-bearing brines and will drill extraction boreholes in the vicinity of historic operations in the tin mining region of Cornwall. Cornish will avoid historic mine workings and will target permeable geological features, which host the lithium-enriched brines. These brines, the lithium hopeful states, are believed to be derived from the interaction of geothermal waters with lithium-enriched granite deep beneath Cornwall.
Although the focus will be on lithium brines, Cornish has confirmed that it will also extend its activities to include hardrock sources of lithium and other metals.
CEO Jeremy Wrathall says that he believes Cornwall has significant potential as a “lithium province”, given the widespread presence of lithium-enriched granites.
“Cornwall also offers great potential to source many of the metals required for batteries that are becoming crucial in modern technologies. Deposits of such metals in Cornwall could become vital sources of key battery metals for the UK economy. The lack of exploration in Cornwall for over 30 years means that one of the most highly mineralised areas in Europe remains effectively untouched by modern exploration techniques,” he notes.
The company has a team of eight geologists, two mining engineers and three metallurgists to continue its exploration activities in Cornwall.
Lithium is mainly produced by evaporation in Latin America, which has been considered the cheapest source. However, new technology to extract lithium from brine is helping to make other options more viable.