Cornish Lithium (CL) is seeking permission to establish a research and development facility at the former Trelavour china clay mine in St Dennis, as the company is investigating the potential for lithium extraction there. This would be the first of its kind in Europe.
This British company, dedicated to the exploration and development of minerals, focuses on the sustainable exploration and extraction of lithium, a crucial component in batteries for electric vehicles and renewable energy systems.
CL’s Trelavour Hard Rock Lithium project was established in 2019, as lithium is present in the mica minerals of the Nanpean “Topaz G5” granite found in the region.
Lithium extraction facility: next advances
The results of the drilling programs at the site will be critical for the company to advance the project to the feasibility study stage this year. To facilitate this process, CL plans to establish a lithium hydroxide demonstration facility at the former Trelavour Dryers site, now called TreLith, near St Dennis.
Commissioning this facility would reassure the company, the local community, the Environment Agency, Cornwall Council and investors that the safe and economical production of the crucial battery component, lithium hydroxide, is feasible.
Likewise, the demonstration facility would enable the processing, testing and continuous improvement of the material from Trelavour Pit, with the aim of achieving optimal performance. According to a CL planning statement: ” The reduced scale of the facility will provide the opportunity to make cost-effective adjustments to engineering design and performance .”
It should be noted that in the United Kingdom and Europe, there are no comparable processes. The Demonstration Plant would be supplied with ore previously crushed off-site. The material would be stored at the pit and transported by road and in bulk bags to the facilities as necessary.
CL plans to build the plant between February and May of this year, with demonstration campaigns that will extend until 2025. The company intends to expand its pre-construction engagement program to ensure the local community is aware of progress and well informed.
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