The company will have the right to explore for potential lithium mineral resources contained within geothermal waters off the Cornish coast


Freshly cut lithium from the Dennis s.k collection. (Credit: Dnn87/Wikemedia Commons.)

Cornish Lithium has secured rights from The Crown Estate, a manager of the seabed and much of the foreshore around England, Wales and Northern Ireland, to explore for lithium within geothermal waters in the north and south coasts of Cornwall.

The exploration rights have been issued following a comprehensive two-year tender process and an environmental assessment that concluded in December 2020.

Cornish Lithium will have the right to explore for potential lithium mineral resources contained within geothermal waters.

Cornish Lithium will begin desk-based exploration programme

Additionally, the rights allow Cornish Lithium to begin its desk-based exploration programme to identify potential geological targets for research at a later stage.

The Crown Estate portfolio manager Nick Everington said: “Lithium has an important and exciting role to play in helping unlock an electric economy and deliver the UK’s commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

“This is a further example of The Crown Estate’s role as managers of the UK’s seabed to help unlock the sustainable and coordinated use of our world-leading marine resources.”

Cornish Lithium, however, plans not to commence physical exploration works for at least four years, following the appropriate desk studies, design works and extensive consultation.

Cornish Lithium CEO and founder Jeremy Wrathall said: “Lithium exploration in the UK is strategically important for our ability to meet the ambitious climate change targets set out by the UK Government.

“Our exploration work across Cornwall has indicated that the geological structures containing lithium-enriched geothermal waters continue offshore, and we are therefore delighted to have secured rights to explore these structures in areas owned by The Crown Estate.

“The opportunity to produce lithium from geothermal waters in Cornwall, using a low impact and environmentally responsible process, offers great potential for the establishment of a new industry in Cornwall.”

In August 2020, Cornish Lithium said its zero carbon lithium collaboration with Geothermal Engineering (GEL) will receive a significant funding from UK government’s Getting Building Fund.

The funding was planned to be utilised for the construction of Europe’s first geothermal lithium recovery pilot plant near Redruth in Cornwall.