Cornish Lithium grades - compelling resource

IOM3 Content Cafe
17 Sep 2020
The results presented in a global context showing lithium levels relative to TDS for various types of lithium rich waters and brines, such as salar brines from the Atacama Desert, oilfield brines and other geothermal waters. Credit: Cornish Lithium

UK mineral exploration company Cornish Lithium states it has found globally significant lithium grades in preliminary sampling of geothermal waters at the United Downs Deep Geothermal Power Project near Redruth, Cornwall, UK, and is preparing to develop a pilot plant. Low-carbon lithium extraction from geothermal waters may make this a compelling supply of lithium for automotive manufactures seeking low carbon supply chains of battery metals.

The company states, ‘Initial results indicate some of the world’s highest grades of lithium and best overall chemical qualities encountered in published records for geothermal waters anywhere in the world. Geothermal waters which contain lithium are very different from other occurrences of lithium in brine given that the same water can be used to generate zero-carbon electrical power and heat. As such these waters are rapidly becoming recognised as the ultimate ethical source of lithium’.

Results show an average lithium concentrations of 220 milligrams per litre (mg/L) with concentrations of up to 260 mg/L. There are low levels of magnesium at 5 mg/L and low dissolved solids. Interestingly, potential additional by-products such as boron, rubidium, caesium and potassium may also be extracted.

The Company, in collaboration with Geothermal Engineering Ltd., was recently awarded funding from the UK Government’s ‘Getting Building Fund’ to build a pilot lithium extraction plant at the United Downs site.