Cornish Lithium Ltd (the “Company” or “Cornish Lithium”), the innovative mineral exploration and development company based in Cornwall, UK, is pleased to announce that its major institutional shareholder, TechMet Limited (“TechMet”), a leading technology metals investment company, has exercised its option to invest a further £9 million at 20 pence per share (the “Option”).
The Option is the second tranche of an £18 million funding package provided by TechMet, which was announced by Cornish Lithium in November 2021. The Option became exercisable following the Company’s delivery of a Scoping Study for the Trelavour Hard Rock Lithium Project (the “Trelavour Project”) (the “Scoping Study”) to TechMet for its review.
Trelavour Project Update
TechMet has elected to exercise its Option following a full review of Cornish Lithium’s Trelavour Scoping Study, which sets out the design and economics of the Trelavour Project based upon the production of battery grade lithium hydroxide. The Trelavour Project comprises open pit mining of lithium enriched granite from a brownfield china clay pit, together with processing via comminution and flotation to a concentrate of lithium-bearing mica. Lithium hydroxide is then produced from the mica concentrate utilising the licensed Lepidico leaching process at an industrial site in close proximity to the mine.
Highlights from the results of the Scoping Study include:
- 1.25 million tonnes per annum (“Mtpa”) run of mine, with a 20-year mine life producing an average of 7,800 tpa of lithium hydroxide
- Robust economic results*:
- Post-tax NPV (8%) of US$318.6 million and a post-tax IRR of 24.4%
- Initial capital expenditure of US$243.8 million (including US$48.9m of contingency)
- Payback expected within 3.8 years from first production
- The Trelavour Project benefits from excellent logistics and close proximity to existing infrastructure, including power, rail, road and port facilities.
There are also areas for potential economic improvement from these base case values. One important example is that whilst the Scoping Study includes the required capital expenditure to produce a number of by-products such as caesium and rubidium, the study has not yet taken account of the additional revenue that could be generated from the sale of these by-products. Cornish Lithium is currently completing processing test work that will provide representative samples and specification of these by-products, allowing their potential value to be estimated. It is expected that the results of this work will be announced by the end of Q3 2022.
The Company is now progressing towards a Feasibility Study for the Trelavour Project. The next drilling programme will commence shortly, which will not only further expand the Trelavour Mineral Resource, but will also convert it from an Inferred to a Measured and Indicated classification under the JORC Code. Environmental surveys and studies have already commenced, and the Company will also continue its community engagement activities, building on the positive feedback it has received from the local community to date.
Jeremy Wrathall, CEO and Founder of Cornish Lithium, said:
“We are delighted that TechMet has elected to exercise its Option following its detailed review of our Scoping Study, as this demonstrates the robustness of the Trelavour Project. The project team has undertaken a significant amount of work to ensure that this is a fulsome and detailed study, and I am delighted that it has generated such a strong result. The Trelavour Project provides a significant opportunity to create additional skilled jobs in the St Austell region and to develop lithium on a commercial scale to service the UK’s growing battery industry. We are looking forward to completing the additional processing test work and demonstrating the full potential of the project once the scope of the by-products has been incorporated within the economic model.
“The Scoping Study has given us the confidence to press ahead with the full Feasibility Study, which will further optimise the Trelavour Project, as well as capture some of the identified upside potential.
“As we progress this work for the Feasibility Study, we look forward to meeting more local residents through our community engagement programme, answering their questions, addressing any concerns and providing further details about our exciting developments.”
Brian Menell, CEO and Chairman of TechMet, commented:
“After a full review of the Scoping Study, TechMet is extremely pleased to be continuing its support for Cornish Lithium as it progresses to the next stage. This represents the first detailed engineering study to demonstrate, with conservative modelling, the economic viability of primary lithium production in the UK.
“TechMet continues to be impressed not only with the high calibre work from the Cornish Lithium team, which has resulted in the successful completion of the study, but also by the way in which the work has been carried out to include all stakeholders within Cornwall.
“The UK is now one step closer to ensuring a domestic source of lithium to supply its future battery and automotive industries.”
For further information about Cornish Lithium, please contact:
Neil Elliot, Manager – Corporate Development: [email protected]
National media enquiries: BlytheRay, [email protected]; +44 (0) 207 138 3205
Local/regional media enquiries: Jilly Easterby at Curlew PR; [email protected]; 07743 164434
* Based upon an assumed lithium hydroxide price of US$20,000/t