British startup Cornish Lithium announced on Tuesday, August 8th, that it has secured around US$67 million in investments for its planned initiative to bring lithium mining to the United Kingdom, yet another step in that nation’s drive towards self-sufficiency with regard to the sought-after mineral.
The company secured the aforementioned amount from an investment round led by the UK Infrastructure Bank (UKIB) which is backed by the King’s Exchequer (HM Treasury), as well as other investors. This initiative itself is part of a much larger one which will secure nearly US$210 million in all.
According to official documents, the preliminary investment amounting to £24 million will be put up by the UKIB. An additional £24 will be given by the American private investment firm Energy & Minerals Group (EMG), while Cornish Lithium’s biggest shareholder TechMet will add £5.6 million to the pot. This brings TechMet’s total investment in the company to £30 million.
In the Name of Progress
Cornish Lithium officials expressed hope that the said funding will help the country’s drive to mine and process its own stockpile of battery-grade lithium, a now-critical resource which will facilitate the greater production of rechargeable batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) and to provide a stable source of renewable power.
The Cornwall initiative is also one of several meant to secure funding for projects related to the mitigation of climate change within the United Kingdom and throughout Europe.
Taking Corning Mining to the 21st Century
Cornwall has been known as the mining hub of the United Kingdom for nearly 4,000 years. As such, Cornish Lithium’s plan to become the country’s first lithium mining operation can be seen as a paean to generations of the region’s miners and brings relevance to the industry once more. Indeed, the company plans to augment its currently 70-person-strong workforce by an additional 300 personnel once operations begin.
But Cornish Lithium isn’t the only UK firm with its head in the game. Another company, British Lithium, recently announced that it would work with France’s Imerys Mining for its own mine in Cornwall. British Lithium hopes to mine and process enough lithium to power nearly half a million EVs by 2029.