Home Business Lithium firm secures initial £53m from investors

Lithium firm secures initial £53m from investors

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Mined lithium can be used to make batteries for electronic devices and electric vehicles
At a glance
A Cornish lithium mining firm has won £53m in investment
Cornish Lithium's deal will strengthen the UK lithium supply chain, the government says
The firm plans to produce about 8,000 tonnes per year of battery-grade material
The metal is used to make power cells for electronic devices and electric vehicles
A lithium mining firm has secured an initial investment of more than £53m to strengthen the UK lithium supply chain, its bosses and the government have confirmed.
Cornish Lithium said UK Infrastructure Bank was leading the funding package in its first direct equity investment.
Other investors include the Energy & Minerals Group (EMG) and Cornish Lithium's largest existing institutional shareholder, TechMet, it added.
The government said the funding would "support the development of the UK’s critical minerals supply chain and will accelerate growth towards the commercial production of lithium, vital for the UK’s transition to net-zero".
Cornish Lithium said it intended to produce about 8,000 tonnes per year of battery-grade lithium hydroxide
The metal is used to make power cells for everyday electronic devices, ranging from laptops to smartphones, as well as being used in electric vehicle (EV) batteries.
Cornish Lithium plans to extract lithium from hard rock in a repurposed China clay pit at Trelavour Downs.
It said it intended to produce about 8,000 tonnes per year of battery-grade lithium hydroxide.
Estimates of the lithium industry's market value vary, with one report forecasting global revenue worth almost $19bn (£15bn) by 2030.
However, lithium is expected to be in demand worldwide for years to come.
Cornish Lithium began its hard rock lithium project at Trelavour Downs near St Austell in 2018
John Flint, of UK Infrastructure Bank, said: "Globally the supply of lithium is far outpaced by demand, and yet in the UK it remains a nascent market.
"Our investment… will greatly accelerate domestic production of a mineral which is critical to the future of EV battery production and decarbonisation of the transport sector."
Treasury minister Andrew Griffith said the deal fits the UK's net zero ambitions.
"It's levelling up the Cornish economy… but it's also really important to securing mineral supply," he said.
Cornish Lithium founder and CEO Jeremy Wrathall, said he was "delighted" at the investment "from institutional investors with the financial muscle to bring our projects into commercial production".
"This funding will enable us to progress our Trelavour hard rock lithium project to a construction-ready status, as well as complete the engineering design work required to build a demonstration-scale geothermal waters extraction facility," Mr Wrathall added.
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