Cornish Lithium, the pioneering mineral exploration and development company that is headquartered at the Tremough Innovation Centre in Penryn, plans to undertake a new exploration project to assess the potential for producing lithium from geothermal waters in the vicinity of Blackwater. The proposed new project at Blackwater is part of Cornish Lithium’s strategy to demonstrate Cornwall’s potential to produce lithium from geothermal waters and would be in addition to the Company’s existing portfolio of projects at United Downs, Twelveheads and North Downs.
Having completed the required site surveys, the next phase of the process is to submit a General Permitted Development Order (GPDO) to Cornwall Council for the relevant permissions to drill an initial research borehole to a depth of 2,000m (6,560 feet) at the Blackwater site and test the lithium potential of the geothermal waters that flow through its underlying permeable geological structures. If the results of the first borehole are successful, Cornish Lithium may plan to drill a second borehole at this location to further evaluate the potential for lithium production.
To share its plans with local people, Cornish Lithium will host the following three community engagement events at Blackwater Village Hall:
- A project presentation by Cornish Lithium’s management team, followed by a Q&A session, from 5pm to 7pm on Thursday 23rd February;
- A community drop-in session from 10am to 12 noon on Saturday 25th February; and
- A further community drop-in session from 2pm to 4pm on Tuesday 28th February.
These events will provide those who live in the area with an opportunity to find out more about this proposed exploration project, raise any questions with members of staff and receive information sheets.
If the relevant permissions are granted by Cornwall Council, a six-month drilling programme would commence this spring, using the same drill rig in a similar set-up to the Company’s exploration site at Twelveheads, with the addition of straw bale screening around the site.
“An environmentally-sustainable domestic supply of lithium is an essential component of the UK’s transition to renewable energy and the manufacture of electric vehicles,” explains Mike Round, Head of Geothermal Lithium at Cornish Lithium.
“Blackwater has been identified as a highly prospective area to explore for lithium in geothermal waters from our extensive digital modelling of Cornwall’s geology. Test results from our research borehole at Twelveheads have already confirmed that the geothermal waters circulating at depth are significantly enriched in lithium so we hope to build on the knowledge that we have gained there to better understand the potential of the geothermal waters that underlie the proposed Blackwater site.
“We look forward to meeting local residents and sharing our plans. We have already created nearly 70 highly-skilled, well-paid jobs in Cornwall and with the success of projects like this, we hope to create further career opportunities for local people in the future. This exploration project could be an important step towards achieving that aim.”
The planned geothermal lithium project at Blackwater would form part of Cornish Lithium’s wider strategy to contribute to a secure, domestic supply of lithium for the UK, revive Cornwall’s mining heritage and impact positively on the Cornish economy.
By extracting lithium from mineral-rich groundwaters that circulate beneath the surface of Cornwall, Cornish Lithium aims to provide a carbon-neutral, low-impact resource to help mitigate the global lithium shortage and produce valuable by-products, including heat, which can be used as a renewable energy source for local businesses and communities.
Further details of the Blackwater exploration project can be found on Cornish Lithium’s website at
If you are unable to attend any of Cornish Lithium’s community engagement events and would like more information about the Company’s drilling programme at Blackwater, or have any questions, please email [email protected] or telephone the drilling team on 01326 640 049.