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Cornish Lithium finds “globally significant” lithium grades in geothermal waters and prepares for work on pilot plant

Cornish Lithium Ltd. (‘Cornish Lithium’ or ‘the Company’), an innovative mineral exploration company exploring for lithium and other battery metals in the South West of the UK, is pleased to announce results from preliminary sampling of lithium in deep geothermal waters at the United Downs Deep Geothermal Power Project near Redruth, Cornwall.

Initial results indicate some of the world’s highest grades of lithium and best overall chemical qualities encountered in published records for geothermal waters anywhere in the world. Geothermal waters which contain lithium are very different from other occurrences of lithium in brine given that the same water can be used to generate zero-carbon electrical power and heat. As such these waters are rapidly becoming recognised as the ultimate ethical source of lithium.

Highlights of the sampling include:

Jeremy Wrathall, CEO & Founder of Cornish Lithium, said: “This is an exciting step towards the realisation of low-carbon lithium extraction from geothermal waters in Cornwall, and compliments Cornish Lithium’s work to date on exploring for lithium contained within shallower geothermal waters in the County.

“The pilot lithium extraction plant, part funded by the UK Government, that we will develop with Geothermal Engineering Ltd. at the United Downs Deep Geothermal Power Project will allow us to evaluate green Direct Lithium Extraction technologies which will bring us another step closer to commercial production of lithium in Cornwall.”

“We now have increased confidence that these lithium-enriched geothermal waters can be found at depth across Cornwall and believe that there is significant potential to replicate combined lithium and geothermal extraction plants in different locations across the County where Cornish Lithium has mineral rights agreements in place.”

The Company, in collaboration with Geothermal Engineering Ltd. (‘GEL’), the developer of the United Downs Geothermal Power Project, was recently awarded funding from the UK Government’s ‘Getting Building Fund’ to build a pilot lithium extraction plant at the United Downs site. The £4 million project will design, procure, and build a pilot plant to trial Direct Lithium Extraction (‘DLE’) technology to extract lithium from the geothermal waters which circulate naturally at depth in the granite rock that underlies Cornwall.

The initial assay results show lithium concentrations of up to 260 mg/L, which are believed to be amongst the highest published grades of lithium in geothermal waters globally. Importantly the Total Dissolved Solids (‘TDS’) content of these Cornish waters is exceptionally low relative to other geothermal waters worldwide, making Cornish waters globally significant. In particular magnesium, a metal that makes processing more difficult and expensive, is extremely low at a concentration of only 5mg/L.

The graph below illustrates the results in a global context and shows lithium levels relative to TDS for various types of lithium rich waters and brines, such as salar brines from the Atacama Desert, oilfield brines and other geothermal waters. Whilst salar brines are often much higher grade, they are difficult to process due to the presence high levels of magnesium and other deleterious elements. Access to power in these remote locations also makes DLE challenging, or impossible.

These results are considered highly encouraging given current developments in lithium extraction using DLE technologies. Additional testing is planned over coming weeks. DLE technology extracts dissolved lithium compounds from the water without the need for the large evaporation ponds that are used in the arid regions of South America. DLE technology uses ionic adsorbents and/or ion exchange membranes, with the residual water being returned to depth via a borehole.

Using DLE technology the Company aims to maximise product recovery from the geothermal waters in a small footprint, energy efficient extraction plant which will be powered by an on-site geothermal power plant. The pilot plant at the United Downs Deep Geothermal Power Project will allow detailed evaluation of potential processing methodologies and accelerate efforts towards commercial production of lithium.
Low-carbon lithium extraction from geothermal waters should make this a very compelling supply of lithium for automotive manufactures seeking low carbon supply chains of battery metals.

Jeremy Wrathall added, “These results show that Cornish deep geothermal waters, unlike others around the world, have low salinity, meaning much lower concentrations of elements such as magnesium and sodium. When these elements are present in high concentrations it can make it difficult and more expensive to separate out the lithium compounds. Cornish geothermal waters should therefore be highly suitable for extraction methods using DLE technology.”

The results from the United Downs Geothermal Power Project demonstrate that this geothermal system has realistic potential to produce economic grades of lithium and, potentially, additional by-products. Given the importance of these results to Cornish Lithium’s overall exploration programme across Cornwall and to the Company’s investors, the Company assayed the samples at two separate independent laboratories to confirm the grades.

Importantly, the results from the United Downs Geothermal Power Project verify the accuracy of historic samples identified by Cornish Lithium in other locations across Cornwall. The maximum recorded lithium content in these samples was 227 mg/L (Edmunds et al., 1988), which occurred at a depth of only 635 m below sea level. It is therefore possible that high grade geothermal waters can be accessed using shallow drilling techniques.

Next steps include further sampling of the deep geothermal waters when GEL commences its next phase of test work at the United Downs site in October this year, with further tests expected to provide additional observations regarding the origins and context of these deeper geothermal waters. The information from additional bulk samples will then be used to inform the design and technology for the pilot DLE plant.

Rob Bowell, SRK Consulting, said: “The lithium grades reported from the deep geothermal waters at United Downs are globally significant. Coupled with the low salinity of the waters, they should be highly amenable to lithium extraction using cutting-edge DLE technology. This is a fantastic opportunity for Cornwall to lead the charge on environmentally-responsible extraction of this critical raw material in Europe and beyond.”

Dr Rob Bowell CChem CGeol EGeol, is the Qualified Person for Cornish Lithium’s geothermal water projects and defined as a competent person for reporting purposes for JORC and NI 43-101. Dr Bowell has been extensively involved in development, design and review of lithium and salt extraction projects in South America, Mexico, Nevada, Tibet, Africa, India and Europe and has over 30 years of experience. Currently he is Corporate Consultant with SRK Consulting (UK) Limited.  Cornish Lithium is currently preparing for a new fundraising via Crowdcube. If you’d like to preregister your interest in participating, you can do so at www.cornishlithium.com.

Strongbow reports new discovery of high grade copper + tin mineralisation in drilling from the  United Downs project, Cornwall, UK.

Strongbow Exploration Inc. is pleased to report the discovery of a new zone of high grade copper-tin mineralisation located between the historic United Mine and Consolidated Mines at Strongbow’s United Downs exploration project, Cornwall UK. The discovery was made in drill hole GWDD-002, drilled by Cornish Lithium. Cornish Lithium has the right to explore Strongbow’s mineral rights in Cornwall for lithium in brine occurrences while Strongbow retains the rights to any hard rock mineralisation.

Highlights

Background

Strongbow completed the acquisition of the South Crofty tin project plus additional mineral rights located in Cornwall, UK, in July 2016 (see Company news release dated July 12, 2016). The additional mineral rights cover an area of approximately 15,000 hectares and are scattered throughout Cornwall. Some of these mineral rights cover old mines that were historically worked for copper, tin, zinc, and tungsten.

In January 2017, the Company announced that it had entered into an agreement with Cornish Lithium, a private exploration company, whereby Cornish Lithium was granted the right to explore Strongbow’s mineral rights in Cornwall for lithium in brine occurrences (see Company news release dated January 19, 2017).

In 2019 Cornish Lithium provided notice of its intention to conduct diamond drill testing for lithium in brine on Strongbow’s United Downs mineral rights. United Downs is located approximately 8km east of South Crofty and lies within a densely mined district, historically referred to as Gwennap (see location Map 1 below). Two diamond drill holes have been completed, for a total length of 1,858m. See Map 2, which shows the collar locations of these two diamond drill holes. Results from part of diamond drill hole GWDD-002 are reported herein. The Company is in the process of logging and sampling the remaining drill core from both GWDD-001 and GWDD-002, and is applying for a drill permit to drill test the strike extension of the lode structure intersected in GWDD-002.

United Downs project

The United Downs project covers, or is located immediately adjacent to, four former copper and tin producing mines: Consolidated Mines and United Mines to the west; and, Mount Wellington and Wheal Jane Mines to the east – see Map 2. The main mineralised structures in all four mines trend ENE and dip steeply to the north.  All of the mineralisation exploited historically is related to either quartz veins or quartz-tourmaline veins hosted within “killas”, the local name for metasedimentary rocks that overlie granite intrusions.

At the nearby South Crofty Mine, copper-tin-zinc-tungsten mineralisation hosted within the killas passes into tin mineralisation at depth as the mineralised vein-like structures pass into the underlying granitic host rock.  The same zonation potentially exists at United Downs, where only the killas-hosted mineralisation has been exploited to date. The underlying granite, which is a target for further tin mineralisation, was encountered in GWDD-002 between 300 and 600m and again at 700m vertical depth.

The nearby Wheal Jane mine was discovered and developed into a modern mine in the late 1960s, initially by Consolidated Goldfields, and thereafter by Rio Tinto Zinc. Mining activities at Wheal Jane ceased in early 1991, due largely to the Tin Crisis of 1985, but processing of South Crofty ore continued until March 1998 when ongoing low tin prices forced its eventual closure.

As part of the intense exploration period that Cornwall enjoyed between the 1960s and 1985, an underground exploration drive was developed during the 1980s westwards from Wheal Jane through Mount Wellington mine at 6 level elevation, whilst an exploration decline (the Wheal Maid decline) was developed to explore for tin mineralisation similar in style to that which was exploited in Mount Wellington and Wheal Jane mines. This exploration work was stopped after the tin price collapse in 1985, despite the great promise for the discovery of polymetallic mineralisation.

If you are interested in the resurgence in the Cornish mining industry, or want to explore opportunities, get in touch with our team today.

Meet the businesses who are alongside Cornwall Trade & Investment at PDAC, helping to showcase the depth of Cornwall’s mining industry:

Cornish Lithium is a highly innovative mineral exploration and development company focused on the environmentally sustainable extraction of lithium from geothermal brines in the historic mining district of Cornwall, UK. The company has secured agreements with the owners of mineral rights over a large area of the region and is using modern technology to re-evaluate the region for lithium and other vital battery metals such as tin, copper and cobalt. A secure domestic supply of such metals is considered vital to the industrial strategy of the UK as it moves towards the production of electric vehicles.

“Cornish Lithium is delighted to be attending PDAC as part of a delegation from Cornwall – the home of mining for over 400 years. We think that Cornwall has the potential to provide a significant amount the critical raw materials that we need to drive the clean energy revolution and we are attending PDAC as it’s a great opportunity to raise the profile of Cornwall and the opportunities here”

Lucy Crane, Senior Geologist, Cornish Lithium

Petrolab has been operating for over 20 years analysing the content of rocks, minerals, ores, aggregates and concrete from all over the world. They specialise in automated mineralogy, including ore characterisation, geometallurgy, gold deportment studies, routine plant monitoring and auditing. They also run the only commercial installation of a Zeiss Mineralogic mining platform in the UK, this state-of-the-art system allows our clients access to the most powerful mineral characterisation tool on the market.

“We are attending PDAC to promote what we do in the automated mineralogy sector on the global stage. We think that Cornwall’s heritage is unique – you can see everything that made Cornwall such an innovative place to be, and it is still innovative today.”

Christopher Brough, Senior Consultant, Petrolab

Grinding Solutions specialises in mineral liberation and separation globally, offering smart and innovative solutions to the metalliferous, coal, industrial minerals and oil field industries. These services are underpinned by expert knowledge, from industrial experience and consultancy for both technical solutions and market evaluations. They offer services across the whole mine value chain from exploration and pre-feasibility stage testing to plant optimisation and tailings generation.

“PDAC is very important to us, we currently do a lot of work in Europe and Africa, and we are looking to expand our clients to North America and Canada. For us its important to investigate this potential market, so far we’ve identified at least 50 companies we are looking to talk to. We are very optimistic that we will secure new clients and contracts from the event.”

Nick Wilshaw, Managing Director, Grinding Solutions

Minviroa University of Exeter startup, are committed to sustainable mining by improving the environmental impact of mining & mineral projects. Minviro works as both a consultancy company on developing projects but has also developed software solutions to a) support mining companies in integrating environmental performance metrics into the design and development stage of mining projects; and b) allow investors, original equipment manufacturers and analysts to be able to compare the environmental performance of individual projects in terms of carbon footprint and other relevant environmental metrics.

“We are excited to attend PDAC for the first time – we believe there will be numerous opportunities for us. W are looking to meet a huge range of people & projects, as well as expanding our potential market. We will also highlight that Cornwall is a world-renowned historic mining region. Cornwall has significant potential to both produce critical metals for our economy in the future and has a plethora of skills within mining that has the potential to be exported to the world market.”

Laurens Tijsseling, Sustainability Manager, Minviro

British Lithium are planning a sustainable integrated lithium quarry, beneficiation plant and refinery in UK to produce 20,000 t of lithium hydroxide per year – enough for 350,000 electric vehicles, giving UK a strategic advantage over the EU, where no battery grade lithium is produced. The Company’s head office and metallurgical laboratory are also near St Austell, in Cornwall, UK.

“Developing a lithium project requires a number of skills & financing, all of which can be found at PDAC.  Attendees include everyone from equipment suppliers, laboratories, technical staff & access to investors. PDAC is a great opportunity to meet all of these people, and highlight the fabulous development opportunity we have in Cornwall.”

Andrew Smith, CEO & Founder, British Lithium

Wardell Armstrong is a full-service British technical mining consultancy with global expertise in the whole mine life cycle. Services include mineral exploration, Mineral Resource Estimation, Ore Reserve evaluation with mine design and scheduling, environmental and social analysis and aspects of mining, economic and financial assessment, through to mine closure including economic development for the local community and post mining.

“PDAC is one of the biggest mining conference in the world with over 20000 attendees. It’s a great opportunity for us to get in front of a huge audience, and meet with relevant companies”

Che Osmond, Technical Director & Geologist, Wardell Armstrong

Cornwall Resources is a wholly owned subsidiary of AIM listed Strategic Minerals plc. They are delivering a world-class tin-tungsten project, in Cornwall, U.K.

Notably, on a contained metal basis, the Redmoor Mineral Resource now ranks as the (No. 1) largest undeveloped tin-tungsten underground mining project in the world Cornwall remains one of the most heavily mined but least explored parts of the world.

“Being based in Cornwall, UK offers us the security of operating in a stable jurisdiction with a clear regulatory framework. Cornwall Council and the local communities are both supportive of mining activity. And, with Camborne School of Mines on our doorstep there’s an abundance of high quality talent here supported by international quality universities with expertise in mining.”

Brett Grist, Exploration Manager, Cornwall Resources

We’re here to help you take advantage of Cornwall’s mining opportunities – and, where necessary, to make your move into the region as seamless and productive as possible, so talk to our team today.

Cornwall to showcase its innovative mining future at the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada Convention.

This week, Cornwall Trade and Investment will lead a trade delegation to Toronto, showcasing Cornwall’s polymetallic mining resources and mining services sector at the mining industry’s premier convention – PDAC 2020.

In 2019 the Department for International Trade launched Cornwall’s mining sector as one of the UK ‘High Potential Opportunities’ at PDAC. Building on this, a delegation of mining and mining services businesses will travel to Canada to highlight Cornwall’s unique prospects and expertise in sustainable mining for strategic metals, supporting clean growth in the UK and international markets.

With a network of over 100 businesses trading globally, alongside the world-class academic strength of Camborne School of Mines, the delegation will help promote the scale of resources including tin, tungsten, lithium and cobalt, highlight the strength and breadth of Cornwall’s mining services sector, and promote the world-class academic capability at the Camborne School of Mines.

Darryn Quayle, Mining Engineer & Specialist at the Department for International Trade said: “Mining in Cornwall dates back to the Bronze Age and the area was once the mining capital of the world. Extraordinary opportunities remain in the region with the discoveries of lithium, cobalt, tungsten and tin. The scale of the resource base has the potential to position Cornwall as a major producer of strategic materials and minerals for the UK and other global markets.”

“PDAC is one of the largest mining conferences in the world – providing a unique opportunity to drive investment into the region, develop export opportunities and engage with potential customers.”

Mike King, Managing Director of Cornwall Development Company

Cornwall’s attendance at PDAC will coincide with St Piran’s day on March 5th, a celebration of the patron saint of tin miners. To mark the occasion, the delegation has been invited by the Toronto Cornish Association to their annual Cornish flag raising at Toronto City Hall, it will also help raise Cornwall’s profile in the Canadian market.

PDAC attendees from the region will include Cornish Lithium, Minviro, Grinding Solutions, Petrolab, Wardell Armstrong, British Lithium, Strongbow Exploration inc., Camborne School of Mines and Cornwall Mining Alliance.

cornwall flag

If you are a business interested in find out more here are three key reasons to invest in Cornwall’s mining sector:

  1. Explore and extract today’s and tomorrow’s in-demand minerals. Join the companies already exploring Cornwall’s abundant high-tech metals – or strategically invest in their operations.
  2. Join a thriving mining services cluster, trading internationally. Cornwall’s mining supply chain is already 100+ companies strong, and trusted by clients across the world.
  3. Tap into local talent, support, and enthusiasm for the mining industry. Hire graduates from local, world-renowned mining institutions like Camborne School of Mines – in an area where there’s great social licence to operate.

If you want to find out more about this event, get in touch with the Cornwall Trade and Investment Team today. The Cornwall team will be based at stand 7328N (Trade Show North) for the duration of the exhibition.

Cornish Lithium finds “globally significant” lithium grades in geothermal waters and prepares for work on pilot plant

Cornish Lithium Ltd. (‘Cornish Lithium’ or ‘the Company’), an innovative mineral exploration company exploring for lithium and other battery metals in the South West of the UK, is pleased to announce results from preliminary sampling of lithium in deep geothermal waters at the United Downs Deep Geothermal Power Project near Redruth, Cornwall. Initial results indicate […]

Success for Strongbow Exploration & Cornish Lithium

Strongbow Exploration Inc. is pleased to report the discovery of a new zone of high grade copper-tin mineralisation located between the historic United Mine and Consolidated Mines at Strongbow’s United Downs exploration project, Cornwall UK. The discovery was made in drill hole GWDD-002, drilled by Cornish Lithium. Cornish Lithium has the right to explore Strongbow’s mineral […]

Meet the Cornwall contingent attending PDAC

Meet the businesses who are alongside Cornwall Trade & Investment at PDAC, helping to showcase the depth of Cornwall’s mining industry: Cornish Lithium is a highly innovative mineral exploration and development company focused on the environmentally sustainable extraction of lithium from geothermal brines in the historic mining district of Cornwall, UK. The company has secured agreements with the […]

A mine shaft photographed from below with the Cornish flag flying.
Cornwall’s mining potential goes on show in Canada

This week, Cornwall Trade and Investment will lead a trade delegation to Toronto, showcasing Cornwall’s polymetallic mining resources and mining services sector at the mining industry’s premier convention – PDAC 2020. In 2019 the Department for International Trade launched Cornwall’s mining sector as one of the UK ‘High Potential Opportunities’ at PDAC. Building on this, a […]

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