A company currently combing the UK county of Cornwall for lithium to help feed growing global demand for batteries has announced another major funding injection, having completed a £1.4m crowdfunding raise from 1,200 new investors.
Following what it claims is the first successful crowdfunding campaign by a UK mineral mining company, Cornish Lithium said it would use the funding to drill holes for lithium in geothermal waters deep below the surface of the county. It now plans to start initial drilling later this month.
The company, which believes Cornwall holds "significant potential" to supply UK industry with lithium needed for electric vehicle and power storage batteries, will also continue to evaluate the potential for extracting the mineral from hard-rock sources in another area of the county, it said.
Jeremy Wrathall, CEO, said: "We are delighted to have now closed our crowdfunding and to welcome over 1,200 new investors to Cornish Lithium. We are excited to commence our exploratory drill programme later this year and to move our project to the next stage."
Cornish Lithium has identified the sites where it hopes to drill its first exploration holes in late October, where it believes there are geothermal waters rich in potential to exploit lithium at depths of between 800-1,000 metres.
Moreover, the company said it was also investigating the possibility of combining geothermal energy generation alongside lithium extraction, inspired by the efforts of another firm - Geothermal Engineering - which successfully drilled two deep holes near the UK town of Redruth over the summer with a view to generating deep geothermal heat and power.
The move is the latest fundraise from the company, which in January announced it had secured £1m from investors to help fund its lithium exploration activities in the county.
Wrathall added: "We continue to believe that Cornwall holds significant potential to supply UK industry with the lithium needed to build electric cars and power storage batteries. This will enable the carbon footprint of batteries assembled in the UK to be minimised given that the necessary raw materials will not have to be imported from thousands of miles away. Domestic production of lithium and other battery metals would also reduce the dependency of the UK economy on imports and has the potential to create significant employment in Cornwall."
This article was first published by Business Green, which is the sustainability partner to InvestmentEurope events.