UK government investing in geothermal lithium recovery plant

IOM3 Content Cafe
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6 Aug 2020

The zero carbon lithium collaboration between Cornish Lithium, UK, and Geothermal Engineering Ltd, UK, is to receive significant investment from UK government’s Getting Building Fund. The investment will drive the construction of Europe’s first geothermal lithium recovery pilot plant at a location near to Redruth, Cornwall, UK. The project will extract lithium for use in electric vehicle and power storage batteries.

This investment supports a £4m collaboration between Geothermal Engineering Ltd (GEL) and Cornish Lithium at GEL’s deep geothermal project at United Downs, which aims to demonstrate that lithium can be produced from geothermal waters with a net zero carbon footprint.

The lithium extraction pilot plant at United Downs will trial direct lithium extraction (DLE) technology, and its suitability to extract lithium from Cornish geothermal waters. While the technology has been used internationally, the optimal DLE technology for Cornish waters is currently being selected. Once the lithium has been extracted, the waters will be returned to depth via injection boreholes.