£500k grant given to explore lithium mining in Cornwall
The Cornwall-based company has received £500,000 funding from the government to continue its work in the St. Austell area. It is hoped that if a British firm is successful in extracting lithium, it will be possible to attract electric car battery gigafactories to open in the UK.
The fact that lithium is relatively light and highly reactive makes it ideal for use in batteries. The batteries used to power electric cars are one of the most lucrative uses of lithium. Furthermore, the sector is growing: global sales of zero-emission vehicles have grown by over 150% in 2020.
British Lithium Limited won the grant on the basis of the company’s preliminary economic assessment (PEA) - a technical feasibility study into the viability of the mining project - and its declaration of a Joint Ore Reserve Committee (JORE). This makes it the first company in the UK to have established a resource.
The chairman of British Lithium Limited, Roderick Smith, commented: “We have undertaken many years of metallurgical research to develop a unique process for extracting lithium from micaceous granite – something never done commercially before. We have our own laboratory in Roche and our aim is to build a quarry and refinery in Cornwall that will produce 20,000 tonnes per year of lithium carbonate”.
While cars are Great Britain’s biggest export by value, only one lithium battery gigafactory is currently being planned
Axora launches global challenge for digital technology
Axora is launching the world’s first international competition to discover new cost-saving digital technology for industrial companies, which can produce rapid benefits within a year.
The Metals & Mining and Oil & Gas sectors have recently experienced budget cuts of 20% on average, driven by a variety of factors including the global pandemic, slump in demand and price wars. The Axora Cost-Saving Technology Challenge aims to transform these industries by discovering innovative, digital solutions that reduce cost fast and pay for themselves, whilst achieving the same or improved productivity, health and safety and sustainability standards.
“While digital solutions can help to get work done quicker and more cost-effectively, they typically require a three-year ROI, and if there’s no flexibility in the budget, a full budget planning cycle is needed to get things moving”, said Dr. Nick Mayhew, Chief Commercial Officer, Axora.
“Yet, extra financial cost is often incurred in delaying digital projects, so customers have asked us to highlight solutions that can have an ‘in year payback’ whereby the cost spent on the solution and deployment will be more than recovered within the budget year - this accelerates the timeline and drives positive business impact, quickly.”
The Axora Cost-Saving Technology Challenge
Axora is keen to learn of any digital cost-saving innovation which: meets the 12-month payback timeframe; can be deployed in any part of the value chain including upstream, downstream or midstream oil and gas, metals processing or mining; and is ready for market. The Axora Cost-Saving Technology Challenge is open to entrepreneurs, start-ups, academics and sector leaders across the world. The competition will be judged by a panel of leading industry experts.
“We’re passionate about supporting our industries and customers through all forms of digital transformation and the cost-saving solutions we are searching for could also provide a lifeline to many mining and metals and oil and gas companies in the current economic climate,” added Dr. Mayhew.
Improving productivity, safety and sustainability
Up to ten finalists will be chosen to pitch their solutions at a digital pitch day later this year, after which Axora will validate the ROI models and vet the solutions. The winner will receive the ‘Axora Market Accelerator’ sales and marketing package worth £10,000. This includes a two-hour workshop, promotion through Axora’s thought leadership content and inclusion into its digital demand engines, providing the opportunity for the winning solution to benefit thousands of industrial companies. Entries are open until May 31. Full details of the competition including terms and conditions can be found here.
To learn more about the Axora B2B digital solutions marketplace read our feature in the latest issue of Mining Global magazine.