Co-production of Lithium and China Clay in Cornwall - CLiCCC

A project funded by Innovate UK through the UK Government’s ISCF Transforming foundation industries:  Building a resilient recovery funding competition

The CLiCCC project explored the potential for Combined production of Lithium and China Clay in Cornwall. 

The St Austell Granite has long been an important source of Kaolin (otherwise known as china clay) and continues to be so today.  The lithium enrichment of the granite is also well published with some areas within the St Austell Granite hosting significant lithium grades.  The lithium is contained within Li-mica minerals which, along with other minerals in the granite, are separated from kaolinite during Kaolin production.  This waste material is sold as by-products in the aggregate industry or stored at tailings facilities.

The project offered a first glance into the potential economic value of producing lithium from waste material from the Kaolin industry.  Historic and operational waste material from Imerys’ Kaolin production in Cornwall were sampled and analysed.  This included chemical analysis, mineralogy, and process amenability test work in order to review the prospect for eventual economic extraction of lithium.

Please click below to watch the project video.

Cornish Lithium undertook the project in collaboration with the following partners:

HSSMI are a sustainable manufacturing innovation consultancy.  They are committed to helping forward-thinking manufacturing companies achieve their goals.  They work across industries to help companies respond to market challenges by increasing productivity, transitioning towards a circular economy, and upscaling their products and processes.

Imerys have over 200 years’ of history in kaolin extraction in South West England and are one of the largest kaolin producers worldwide.  Imerys have best-in-class operations delivering commercial excellence and market-driven innovation.  They have unrivalled industrial/technological processes, a thorough understanding of their customers’ applications and are meeting ambitious targets for being a responsible business.

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