A Cornish mineral exploration company has announced the completion of its geothermal water test site, located at United Downs.

Cornish Lithium, a mineral exploration and development company headquartered in Cornwall, announced today (Monday 7) that is has completed constructions work on its United Downs Geothermal Water Test Site in Cornwall.

The company has also installed its first demonstration plant to trial environmentally-responsible Direct Lithium Extraction (‘DLE’) process technologies.

The facility has been designed to establish which DLE technologies are most suited to low-carbon extraction of lithium from Cornish geothermal waters at deep and shallows depths.

Facilities at he test site include DLE technology demonstration plants, borehole pumping infrastructure, a demonstration lithium extraction circuit, a visitor centre and offices for the project team, a core shed housing the 2,000 metres of drilling core recovered to date, bulk fluid storage for the geothermal water samples collected for testing and a field laboratory for initial analysis of samples.

Jeremy Wrathall, CEO and founder of Cornish Lithium, said: "Our lithium in geothermal waters test site at United Downs provides us with an opportunity to demonstrate what modern, low-carbon mineral extraction looks like, and the results will inform the development of the larger pilot plant that we intend to construct by the end of March next year.

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"As world leaders gather in Cornwall for the G7 summit to take collective action towards securing a green and global economic recovery, and with the news that Nissan is considering constructing a battery gigafactory in the North East, the timing could not be better for Cornish Lithium to play a significant role in establishing a crucial domestic supply chain for the EV industry.

"This will not only boost the regional and national economy as the UK transitions to net zero-carbon, it will also position Cornwall at the heart of the green industrial revolution, continuing a proud 4,000-year history of mineral extraction and innovation."

At the company's Trelavour Project, in the St Austell region, Cornish Lithium’s second drilling campaign has also just been completed.

The results will enable the Company to publish its maiden Resource estimate on the project in autumn 2021, which will define the potential 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 Ltd, 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 test work by Grinding Solutions will involve processing approximately 30 tonnes of granite to produce a mica mineral concentrate.