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British Lithium

British Lithium: pioneers of UK mining. Since 2018, British Lithium has been extracting lithium carbonate from Cornish granite. We take an in-depth look at the company transforming the UK’s mining industry. 

In 2019, British Lithium became one of the first companies to extract lithium in the UK, using patented Mi-Sep and Li-Sep technologies to enable the sufficient and sustainable production of battery-grade lithium carbonate. This product is required for the manufacture of Li-ion batteries used for electric vehicles, so it’s no exaggeration to say that British Lithium’s work could help transform the world around us for the foreseeable future.

Expertise meets experience

British Lithium’s technical and management teams bring together deep expertise in grassroots exploration, resource evaluation, metallurgy, process, feasibility, permitting, and environmental and social impact assessments – as well as project financing, construction and operations.

“As mine operators, we understand the critical importance of a strong owner’s team responsible for evaluation and planning,” says CEO, Andrew Smith. “This runs from exploration data management and metallurgical test work, through piloting, process development and design, to construction supervision; with stakeholders engaged at every stage. We are interested in lithium, cobalt, nickel, manganese, graphite, bromine, zinc and vanadium.”

British Lithium Innovate

Digging deep for a greener future

Based in St Austell, British Lithium’s goal is to build a sustainable, integrated lithium quarry, benefaction plant and refinery which will produce 20,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide a year. That’s enough for 350,000 electric vehicles – a figure which could have a huge impact on our roads and help the UK meet and exceed its sustainability targets. This project will also place the UK in a strong position for overseas trade, as currently no battery-grade lithium is produced in the EU.

The UK is already the third largest automobile manufacturer in Europe. With Government mandates set to make all new vehicles electric by 2030, the work at British Lithium is set to open the door to a new future, helping us to build a robust electric vehicle value chain in the United Kingdom.

Why Cornwall?

Cornwall has a history of mining, quarrying and mineral processing stretching back 4,000 years, and that history is present today both in its tin-mine scattered landscape and an industry that continues to thrive. Since 1888, the world-renowned Camborne School of Mines has enhanced and supported the development of Cornish Mining, today providing advanced degrees and a wealth of talent to the companies working in the region – including British Lithium.

Cornwall is also one of the lowest cost mining jurisdictions in Europe, with access to renewable energy, a robust mining infrastructure and a network of experienced companies with existing working relationships. British Lithium holds rights over much of Cornwall and Devon’s most prospective ground, including former clay mining areas. It is here that British Lithium discovered the granite hosting kaolin clay contains lithium in mica.

To learn more about British Lithium, visit 

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