LONDON, Aug 14 (Reuters) – British mining company Cornish Lithium has secured 1 million pounds ($1.30 million) to explore for lithium in Cornwall, southwest England, its CEO said, taking the country a step closer to a domestic source of the strategic mineral.
Lithium plays an essential role in electric car batteries, and is produced by evaporation in Latin America, which has been considered the cheapest source. But new technology to extract lithium from brine is helping to make other options more viable.
In January, Cornish Lithium said it had reached a mineral rights agreement with Canada’s Strongbow Exploration. It then said it needed around 5 million pounds to develop its project to extract lithium from underground hot springs and to supply products to the rapidly growing battery market for electric cars and for power storage.
Jeremy Wrathall, CEO of Cornish Lithium, told Reuters he now expected the project would be cheaper and the million pounds announced on Monday would be enough for at least a year.
The money will be used to decide where to put the first drill holes. Production is at least five years away, Wrathall said, adding the investors brought mineral expertise, as well as funds.
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