Cross Lanes

Cornish Lithium successfully completed drilling an exploration borehole at Cross Lanes, previously referred to as the Twelveheads Project, in spring 2023. Further work at the site is currently taking place to test the geothermal waters, ahead of a proposed lithium production facility being built.

Why Cross Lanes?

To advance our exploration programme and demonstrate the regional prospectivity of lithium in geothermal waters below Cornwall, we drilled an exploration borehole at Cross Lanes near Chacewater, that successfully targeted permeable geological structures approximately 2,000 metres below the surface. From this research borehole, we recovered rock core, which was analysed and used to identify the location of natural structures in the rock that geothermal waters flow through. An electric pump was then used to pump water samples to surface from these structures, which were analysed for their lithium concentration.

The borehole drilled during 2022 and 2023 provided highly encouraging results:

  • Successfully drilled to a depth of 1,974 metres
  • Several permeable structures containing lithium-enriched geothermal waters
  • Average grade of c.100 parts per million below 1,700 metres
  • Temperature of over 70 °C – end of borehole 72°C
  • Low overall levels of total dissolved solids and minimal deleterious elements, which provides a processing advantage

Read more information here.  

Geothermal Lithium Production Facility

Following positive exploration results from our work at Cross Lanes over the last two years, we are now planning a commercial project in the area with an initial demonstration phase.

This will include the proposed construction and operation of a geothermal lithium production facility and the development of two additional 2,000-metre-deep boreholes. One will be used to pump up geothermal water, from which lithium will be extracted, and the other to return the water underground. This is an exciting development and a significant next step towards the responsible production of lithium.

In keeping with the surroundings, the geothermal lithium production plant will be housed in an agricultural-style building situated within the existing farm yard area with a footprint of approximately 75 metres x 30 metres. It will feature various sustainable design elements including solar panels, battery storage and rainwater harvesting. The overall site will be sympathetically landscaped with supplementary planting in addition to a number of ecological enhancements such as hedge improvements and restoration of existing areas of disturbed land.

Community Engagement

As part of our ongoing commitment to proactive community engagement, the Company is inviting local people to attend a presentation at Chacewater Village Hall, Church Hill, Chacewater, Truro TR4 8PZ on Friday 16th February between 5pm and 7pm. Local residents are encouraged to book their place at the presentation evening at the link below:

This event will offer residents the opportunity to learn about the potential for the environmentally-responsible extraction of lithium from the waters that run deep beneath the surface of Cross Lanes, following the positive test results from Cornish Lithium’s recent exploration borehole at this site.

Following the presentation evening, Cornish Lithium will also host a series of drop-in sessions at the Twelveheads Methodist Church Hall at 3pm to 5pm on the following dates:

  • 20th February;
  • 5th March;
  • 19th March; and
  • 2nd April

From June 2023 until March 2024 further work will be happening at the Twelveheads site for necessary pumping and testwork to analyse the geothermal waters.

  • Small scale abstraction pumping as part of extension to existing permissions
  • Water will be transported from the site to the United Downs Test Facility and trailed through new DLE technologies
  • No drill rig will be onsite
  • Work within a secure compound over the previously used site
  • Intermitted work at site between 8am – 6pm Monday – Friday

The project sheet for this work is available here:

Previous work:

Successful Twelveheads borehole drilled in 2022 and 2023 provided highly encouraging results:

  • Exploration borehole at Twelveheads successfully drilled to a depth of around 1,974m
  • Several permeable structures containing lithium-enriched geothermal waters
  • Average grade of c.100 parts per million below 1,700m
  • Temperature of over 70 °C – end of borehole 72°C
  • Low overall levels of total dissolved solids and minimal deleterious elements

Read more information in the press release  https://cornishlithium.com/company-announcements/first-half-of-2023-yields-positive-results-and-significant-progress/

Why Twelveheads?

To explore for lithium in geothermal waters, we have created 3D digital models of the geology of Cornwall to identify areas with the most potential for future lithium extraction.  In 2019 we drilled two successful research boreholes at United Downs, which confirmed that the geothermal waters are enriched in lithium from depths as shallow as 600 m (c. 2,000 ft). To advance our exploration programme and demonstrate the regional prospectivity of Cornwall, we are currently drilling an additional research borehole just outside of Twelveheads, that will target permeable geological structures approximately 1,600 m (c. 5,250 ft) below the surface. From this research borehole, we plan to recover rock core, which will be analysed and used to identify the location of natural structures in the rock that geothermal waters flow through. An electric pump will be used to pump water samples to surface from these strucutres, which will be analysed for their lithium concentration as set out in the illustration below.

The borehole is being drilled using a small mineral exploration drill rig, like the one we used at United Downs in 2019-2020 .

Drilling Operations

Cornish Lithium commenced drilling the research borehole on 10 March 2022 and it is anticipated that the research borehole will take approximately four and half months to drill, with drilling operations taking place between the hours of 7:00am and 7:00pm each day. Samples of geothermal waters will be collected at intervals down the hole, which is planned to be drilled to a depth of nearly c.1,600m. Some water sampling may take place between 7:00pm and 11:00pm at night, but there will be no drilling after 7:00pm.

If you would like more information about Cornish Lithium’s drilling programme or have any concerns, please contact our drilling team via email, drilling@cornishlithium.com, or telephone on 01326 640 049.

Community Drop-In Session

To continue our engagement with the Twelveheads’ community, Cornish Lithium will be hosting further community drop-in sessions at the Twelveheads Methodist Church Hall at 4pm to 6pm on the 24th of January and 10am to 12 noon on the 28th of January. Full details of the sessions will be announced in due course. If you are a member of the local community with questions about the research borehole, drilling operations or Cornish Lithium’s work developing an environmentally responsible source of lithium we’d like to hear from you.

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