Cornish Lithium Plc. (Cornish Lithium) and Northern Lithium Ltd. (Northern Lithium) wish to announce an important agreement to collaborate on accelerating the development of a sustainable, domestic supply of lithium for the UK at scale over the next decade.
Cornish Lithium and Northern Lithium are innovative UK based mineral exploration and development companies, each focused on delivering sources of lithium through the extraction of lithium from geothermal waters and in the case of Cornish Lithium, also from hard rock. Cornish Lithium is concentrating on the South-West of England and Cornwall, whilst Northern Lithium’s initial focus is on the North-East of England and the Northern Pennine Orefield of County Durham. The granite rock which underlies both areas contains lithium-rich minerals which have leached into mineral rich waters deep below the surface. As confirmed by recent exploration drilling programmes the lithium concentrations encountered are believed to be potentially commercially viable in both areas. In March 2022 Cornish Lithium built and commissioned the UK’s first Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) pilot plant and since that time has gained invaluable experience in successfully extracting lithium from Cornish geothermal waters.
Both Cornish Lithium and Northern Lithium agree with the UK Government’s assessment, as stated in the recently published Critical Minerals Strategy, that a secure and sustainable domestic supply of lithium is essential for the transition to renewable energy and net zero. Domestic sources of lithium will also help secure the future of the British automotive industry as it transitions to manufacturing electric vehicles.
Cornish Lithium’s and Northern Lithium’s projects across Cornwall and County Durham are expected to support part of the UK’s forecast annual requirement for 80,000 tonnes of Lithium Carbonate Equivalent (LCE) by 2030 and 135,000 tonnes of LCE by 2040. The collaboration between the two companies aims to accelerate the delivery of a domestic lithium supply and to help meet this demand at scale within the required timeframe.
Cornish Lithium and Northern Lithium believe this collaboration will make a material difference to the development of a vibrant domestic lithium market, delivering benefit to the local areas and regional economies that host sites, and to the UK as a whole. The collaboration will initially focus on information sharing and technical assistance, with both parties looking to develop a long-term working partnership as their respective projects develop further.
Jeremy Wrathall, CEO and Founder of Cornish Lithium, commented: “We are delighted to announce this collaboration with Northern Lithium which we believe will materially assist in delivering a domestic supply of lithium at scale to help meet UK forecast demand by 2030. Over the last few months we have developed a strong relationship with the team at Northern Lithium and feel that we can materially assist them given the experience we have gained with DLE technologies and with the extraction of lithium
from geothermal waters. We believe that a collaboration between the two companies makes sense given our different geographical focus areas and our shared ambition to accelerate domestic lithium production to support UK industry.
Richard Morecombe, Chairman and Founder of Northern Lithium, commented: “Having confirmed potentially commercially viable concentrations of lithium in geothermal waters from our first boreholes, Northern Lithium now intends to develop appropriate extraction and processing capabilities to ensure delivery of a commercial scale supply of lithium in the North-East. Cornish Lithium’s experience and expertise, gained through its subsidiary GeoCubed, of developing suitable DLE techniques will be a huge help to us, accelerating our own development programme over the next few years. We look forward to working alongside Cornish Lithium on delivering what the UK needs most – a secure, stable and sustainable domestic supply of lithium.”