21 January 2021

First UK production of lithium carbonate for electric vehicles

Lithium carbonate has been successfully produced from two UK sources – one from Cornish Lithium’s Trelavour project site in Cornwall and another from Scotland.

Lithium mining from the UK

Outcrop examination and documentation by NHM-CLL field expedition

© Li4UK 2019

This milestone follows an 18-month project by the Li4UK consortium comprising Wardell Armstrong International Limited, The Natural History Museum and Cornish Lithium Ltd. It is funded through the Faraday Battery Challenge under the auspices of of UK Research and Innovation. 

The study involved: 

  1. Scoping covering sites hosting potentially suitable lithium mineralisation in hard rock and geothermal waters.
  2. Field sample collection 
  3. Characterisation and analysis of samples 
  4. Evaluation and mineral processing of hard-rock samples and production of two separate lithium carbonate concentrates 
  5. Assay of the two lithium carbonate products to confirm their purity as near battery grade

High-purity lithium carbonate is a raw material for lithium-ion battery cells, such as those used in electric vehicles.An important conclusion of this study is that Cornwall is the most promising area for a future lithium extraction and production industry.  

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