A major shareholder in mining exploration company Cornish Lithium is investing a further £9m in the company.
Tech metals investment firm TechMet exercised its option to invest at 20 pence per share.
This is the second tranche of £18m funding provided by the technology firm, which was announced by Cornish Lithium, headquartered in Cornwall in November 2021.
The option became exercisable after Cornish Lithium delivered a scoping study for TechMet, the company said.
Trelavour’s scoping study defines the design and economics of the Trelavour project based on the production of battery-grade lithium hydroxide.
The Trelavour project involves surface mining of lithium-enriched granite from a brownfield kaolin quarry, as well as processing by fragmentation and flotation into a lithium-containing mica concentrate. Lithium hydroxide is then produced from the mica concentrate.
The company is now progressing towards a feasibility study for the Trelavour project. The next drilling program will begin shortly, according to Cornish Lithium.
Jeremy Wrathall, managing director and founder of Cornish Lithium, said the project would provide an opportunity to create additional skilled jobs in the St Austell area and develop lithium on a commercial scale to serve the growing UK battery industry. .
“The project team undertook considerable work to ensure this is a comprehensive and detailed study, and I am delighted that it has generated such a solid result,” said Mr Wrathall.
“As we move forward with this work for the feasibility study, we look forward to meeting more local residents through our community engagement program, answering their questions, addressing their concerns and providing further details about our exciting developments.”
Brian Menell, chief executive and chairman of TechMet, said the UK was now “one step closer” to securing a national source of lithium to supply its future battery and automotive industries.
He added: “TechMet is extremely pleased to continue supporting Cornish Lithium as it takes the next step. This is the first detailed engineering study to demonstrate, with conservative modelling, the economic viability of primary lithium production in the UK.
In February, Cornish Lithium struck a deal with power producer IGas Energy Plc to seek sites where geothermal heat can be developed on a commercial basis.
The heads of mandate agreed with the British energy company and the parent company of geothermal heat developer GT Energy UK. The companies want to work together to assess suitable sites where geothermal heat can be produced and create a pilot project.
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