UK-based mineral exploration company Cornish Lithium has secured a £18m investment package from technology metals investment firm TechMet to advance the development of its project portfolio.

Expected to provide sufficient working capital for Cornish’s development plans up to the end of next year, the package will help the company to advance both its hard rock and geothermal work streams.

The investment will be provided in two tranches, of which first tranche of £9m will be offered after securing shareholder approval.

Following the delivery of the scoping study for the Trelavour hard rock project that is expected to be completed in the second quarter of next year, the second tranche of £9m will be offered at the option of TechMet.

Cornish Lithium CEO and founder Jeremy Wrathall said: “Cornish Lithium has reached an inflexion point in the Company’s development where larger scale investment is required. This funding underpins the Company’s ambitions in Cornwall as we seek to progress our projects towards construction and commercial production.

“TechMet has the financial capability to contribute additional capital if required and thus represents a strong, long-term partner for Cornish Lithium.”

Cornish will use the funding for the construction of a beneficiation and hydrometallurgical demonstration plant to boost the low carbon Lepidico processing technology to which the company received a five-year royalty free licence last year.

The funding will also help the company to advance feasibility studies for the Trelavour project, thereby helping to advance construction plans and obtain necessary finance to build the project.

To further demonstrate prospectivity for lithium contained in geothermal waters, the company will also drill additional geothermal evaluation boreholes and develop associated direct lithium extraction sites.

Cornwall will also conduct studies to assess the possibility of using heat from these boreholes decarbonisation of local industries in Cornwall.