UK’s first commercial lithium mine could supply two-thirds of the country’s needs by 2030 – by Julia Robinson (Chemistry World – July 4, 2023)

The UK’s first commercial lithium mine is to open in Cornwall, following a new partnership between Imerys, the world leader in mineral-based solutions, and British Lithium.

It has been estimated that the site contains enough lithium to sustain mining there for 30 years, producing around 20,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent annually. By the end of the decade, the mine should be producing enough of the metal for batteries to power 500,000 electrical vehicles per year.

With funding from Innovate UK and the Automotive Transformation Fund, British Lithium has carried out drilling and exploration on Imerys-owned land in Cornwall since 2017 and has developed a unique process and pilot plant to produce battery-grade lithium carbonate.

Under the new venture, which it is hoped will create new job opportunities in Cornwall, Imerys will hold an 80% stake in the joint venture, while British Lithium will retain 20%.

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