Lithium find in Cornwall spurs hopes of regeneration – by Steven Morris (The Guardian – September 17, 2020)

Discovery of high-grade metal used for electric car batteries ‘could be enough to meet total future UK demand’

The hills and woods around the town of Redruth are dotted with reminders of Cornwall’s proud mining history – lovely old engine houses, terraces of workers’ cottages, memorials and statues.

So rich were the reserves of tin and copper in the region that one site near the village of Gwennap was once nicknamed “the richest square mile on Earth”. Many decades on from that heyday, a renaissance in mining, or mineral extraction as its modern practitioners prefer to call it, may be taking place.

On Thursday, a Cornish-based company announced that it had found lithium – a component in electric car batteries – of a “globally significant” grade just north of Redruth.

The company said the lithium in hot salty springs deep underground had the potential to turn Cornwall into the UK’s hub for battery materials and create hundreds of jobs.

It even said there could be enough lithium in Cornwall to meet all the UK’s demand if and when the country moves from fossil fuel vehicles to electric ones.

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