MP for St Austell and Newquay, Steve Double, joined CEO of Cornish Lithium, Jeremy Wrathall, and the Treasury Minister, Andrew Griffith, at the company’s sites near St Austell today, following the £24m investment announcement.
The funding, provided by the UK Infrastructure Bank, will enable Cornish Lithium to progress the project at Trelavour Downs, where they plan to extract lithium from hard rock in a repurposed china clay pit and produce around 8,000 tonnes per year of battery-grade lithium hydroxide, to a construction-ready state, creating jobs and training opportunities.
Having worked for several years to support the development of lithium extraction in Mid-Cornwall, Steve Double MP, who also visited the company’s TreLith site, where their processing plant will be, said:
“It is exciting to see this investment in Cornish Lithium and huge boost to the local economy of Mid-Cornwall. I have always said that mineral mining is in our DNA in this part of Cornwall and this investment will ensure we continue to lead the world in this sector for years to come.
“I am excited to see what’s in store for Cornwall’s lithium industry. It is a key element in battery production and will be one of the most sought-after natural resources into the future.
“It is great to see us leading the way in the development of renewable technologies and I look forward to seeing this industry grow and develop. Well done to everyone who has worked to make this possible.”
The funding is part of a wider funding package of £53.6m, which will be used to accelerate progress toward the creation of a domestic supply of lithium.
This is crucial to support the scaling up of battery production for electric vehicles as well as the development of battery energy storage solutions and signals a significant boost for Mid-Cornwall.
The investment will enable the county’s development as an industrial cluster for lithium extraction and strengthen the move to Net Zero.
Jeremy Wrathall, founder and CEO of Cornish Lithium said: “As well as creating job opportunities and fostering innovation, the investment signals confidence in our ambitions and will drive forward the modern-day renaissance of Cornwall’s 4,000-year mining heritage.
“It is also a positive development for the UK’s car industry and green industrial revolution. A domestic source of lithium will strengthen and reduce the carbon footprint of the UK’s car manufacturing supply chain and in turn improve its competitiveness.”
Cornish Lithium aims to increase its local workforce to over 300 and through its hard rock mine development, it is estimated that Cornish Lithium could generate £800m of economic activity for the local economy over the planned 20-year mine life.