Cornish Lithium raises $8mn in crowdfunding
Cornish Lithium has raised $8mn (£6mn) in just 20 minutes. The funds generated on the crowdfunding platform Crowdcube will be used to progress the company’s geothermal and hard rock lithium deposits in Cornwall, UK
Jeremy Wrathall, CEO & Founder of Cornish Lithium:
Cornish Lithium CEO & Founder Jeremy Wrathall commented: “We are delighted with the support we have received to date for our latest crowdfunding round. The additional funding will be used to continue the progress towards our goal of creating a battery metals hub for the UK.
We have made significant advances since our last fundraising on Crowdcube, on both our geothermal and hard rock workstreams. We have also continued to attract Government support with additional funding grants being made as well as receiving our offshore exploration licences from the Crown Estate.”
Cornish Lithium is progressing its Trelavour project in Cornwall, UK
“The acquisition of the Lepidico licence at the end of 2020 has allowed us to unlock the significant potential of our Trelavour Project We have now successfully completed our second drilling campaign at Trelavour, the data from which will enable us to publish our maiden resource in the autumn of this year,” said Wrathall.
“We have also made great progress at United Downs where we have completed the construction of our geothermal waters test facility where the team is currently trialling technologies from different Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) technology providers. This work will help to inform our decision as to which will be the most appropriate technology to use in the pilot plant we plan to commission at United Downs in March 2022.”
Cornish Lithium is producing battery grade lithium
Cornish Lithium announced in December 2020 that it had successfully produced nominal battery grade lithium hydroxide utilising Lepidico's proprietary and environmentally-responsible L-Max and LOH-Max process technologies on lithium mica samples obtained during its initial hard rock lithium drilling programme. Following these successful test results, Cornish Lithium acquired an exclusive licence to use Lepidico’s processing technology covering the St Austell region.
The company has subsequently completed its second drilling campaign at the Trelavour project and work is now underway to define a JORC resource for the project, which will ultimately define the scale of the project. In addition, test work is being conducted to optimise the extraction of lithium from mica minerals in the granite. A demonstration mineral concentrator plant has been constructed by Grinding Solutions, a Cornish mineral processing consultancy and laboratory, which is currently being used to refine the plant design that Cornish Lithium intends to use on lithium bearing granites extracted from the Trelavour Project. The results of this work together with the resource statement will inform the project’s scoping study, which is being partly funded through a grant awarded in April 2021 by the Government’s Automotive Transformation Fund.
Cornish Lithium is also leading a consortium in partnership with Imerys and sustainable manufacturing innovation consultancy, HSSMI, to assess the potential for the Co-production of Lithium and China Clay (Kaolin) in Cornwall. The CLiCCC Project will assess the potential to produce lithium from waste material produced from both current and historic kaolin operations and, this £1mn project, will benefit from Innovate UK’s funding.
Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.