Local MP, Steve Double, believes that the announcement this week of a new joint venture partnership between Imerys Minerals and British Lithium will be a huge boost to the local economy of Mid-Cornwall.
This announcement is the result of several years of exploration and mapping by British Lithium to confirm the presence of significant lithium deposits in ‘Clay Country’ and will now enable commercial battery grade lithium to be extracted and processed right here in Cornwall. With Imerys bringing their land and mineral rights as well as their experience and recourses in mineral extraction to the partnership, to support the work of British Lithium in developing processing methods to produce high quality lithium carbonate, this is a positive step forward.
Having worked for several years to support the development of lithium extraction in Mid-Cornwall, Steve Double MP said:
“Mineral mining is in our DNA in this part of Cornwall. The potential of lithium extraction is a huge boost that will ensure that we will continue to lead the world in this sector for many years to come. We have been producing some of the highest quality china clay for many generations and now we can look to a future where we supply what will be one of the most sought-after natural resources into the future.”
“I am so proud that Cornwall is getting to lead the way once again in producing high quality lithium that will be essential for the future production of electric vehicles in the UK. Well done to everyone who has worked to make this possible. This is a great day for everyone involved and for Cornwall as a whole.”
Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch said:
“This joint venture between Imerys and British Lithium will strengthen our domestic supply of critical minerals, which is vitally important as we seek to grow the UK's advanced manufacturing industry and help create the jobs of the future.
This partnership shows again that the UK remains an attractive destination for international investment and will boost economic prosperity, support green industries, and bolster our energy security – not only in Cornwall, but right across the UK.”
Alessandro Dazza, CEO of Imerys, said:
‘This acquisition is a milestone in Imerys’ journey to becoming a key partner in the energy transition. Building on our recent investment in the EMILI Project in France, we are uniquely placed to become a leading supplier of lithium in the UK and Europe. We look forward to unlocking the joint potential of British Lithium and Imerys to make Cornwall a successful lithium hub, building on its centuries-old mining heritage.”
Roderick Smith, Chairman of British Lithium, said:
‘After working closely with Imerys several years, the Directors, shareholders, and staff of British Lithium are delighted to formalize their partnership with Imerys and are confident that this alignment of interests will propel us toward continued rapid progress. This marks a key milestone for British Lithium, Imerys, and the entire lithium battery industry, as they embark on a journey to establish a sustainable future for lithium production in the United Kingdom.’