UK to establish Europe's first geothermal lithium recovery plant
The UK government intends to invest in the first experimental geothermal lithium recovery plant in Europe. As part of Cornish Lithium's project, a lithium recovery plant will be built in Cornwall to extract lithium from geothermal waters. The investment will be £4 million. The recovered lithium will be used for electric vehicles and batteries, the company said.
The main goal of the project is to ensure the extraction of lithium from geothermal waters with a zero carbon footprint. The authorities will invest in the plant through their Getting Building Fund.
Cornish Lithium reported that it intends to try out environmentally-friendly direct lithium extraction (DLE) technology and its suitability for lithium recovery in Cornwall. The technology has been used by companies in the US, Europe, New Zealand and other countries, but a suitable option is now being selected for this project. Once lithium is extracted from the water by nanofiltration, the water will be pumped to a depth.
Cornwall rocks are rich in lithium, and recent tests have shown that the development of these reserves can be commercially profitable thanks to the latest mining technology.
"We believe that Cornish Lithium has the potential to become the centre of metals for UK batteries, continuing its 4000 year history of metal production and industrial innovation," said Jeremy Wrathlall, founder of Cornish Lithium.
Previously, Nadhim Zahawi, Minister for Business and Industry, said that Cornwall Lithium is essential to the entire economy. The company believes that it can cover most of the UK's demand for this critical metal for several decades.