Cornwall, UK-based Cornish Lithium, a pioneering mineral exploration and development company, announced that it has raised $67M (approximately €61M) investment from a consortium of prominent institutional investors.
The consortium is led by the UK Infrastructure Bank alongside The Energy & Minerals Group (EMG) and TechMet.
Of the total investment, the UK Infrastructure Bank has invested approximately £24M (approximately €27M) in what is its debut direct equity investment, while EMG, a US-based private equity fund focused on the energy and minerals sectors, invested around £24M.
TechMet, the critical minerals investment firm and the largest existing shareholder in Cornish Lithium has committed an additional $7M (£5.6 million), bringing its total investment into Cornish Lithium to $30M (approximately €27M).
Fund utilisation and crowdfunding
The company says that the funds will help it to accelerate the creation of a domestic supply of battery-grade lithium compounds, which is crucial to support the scaling up of domestic battery production for electric vehicles and battery energy storage solutions for renewable energy sources.
Once in commercial production, Cornish Lithium aims to grow its Cornwall-based workforce to over 300. The company estimates that through its Trelavour hard rock mine development alone, it could generate £800M of economic activity for the local economy over the expected 20-year mine life.
This figure is expected to increase further through the development of the company’s geothermal waters project portfolio.
Cornish Lithium will also announce a further retail share offering through Crowdcube. The offer will be for up to £6.9M and will prioritise its existing shareholders.
Cornish Lithium: Helping drive the UK to a cleaner future
Founded by Jeremy Wrathall, Cornish Lithium is focused on exploring lithium within the hot springs that naturally occur beneath the surface in and around Cornish granites.
The company aims to create a new mining industry in Cornwall.
Wrathall says, “We are delighted to have secured investment from the UK Infrastructure Bank alongside EMG, as well as our much valued partner TechMet.”
“This funding will enable us to progress our Trelavour hard rock lithium project to a construction-ready status as well as complete the engineering design work required to build a demonstration-scale geothermal waters extraction facility. These project milestones are expected to generate a significant value uplift for all of our shareholders and create substantial benefits for the local community,” he adds.
“As well as creating job opportunities and fostering innovation, the investment signals confidence in our ambitions and will drive forward the modern-day renaissance of Cornwall’s 4,000-year mining heritage. It is also a positive development for the UK’s automotive industry and green industrial revolution. A domestic source of lithium will strengthen the UK’s car manufacturing supply chain and improve its competitiveness whilst reducing the carbon footprint associated with the manufacture of batteries and electric vehicles,” he adds.
The UK Infrastructure Bank was announced as part of the Government’s National Infrastructure Strategy in 2020 and launched in June 2021. The Bank’s objectives are to help tackle climate change and to support regional and local economic growth.
John Flint, CEO of UK Infrastructure Bank, says, “Our investment in Cornish Lithium perfectly encapsulates a key part of our mission – to drive forward new and emerging markets that the UK will rely on to meet its net zero goals, and which will deliver an enduring and positive impact on local economies.”
“Globally the supply of lithium is far outpaced by demand, and yet in the UK it remains a nascent market. Our investment has already crowded-in private sector financing, which will greatly accelerate domestic production of a mineral which is critical to the future of EV battery production and decarbonisation of the transport sector. This model of investment is fundamental to the success of the UK’s transition to net zero,” he adds.
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