Cornish Lithium starts exploration in Gwennap
Posted on 17 Dec 2019 and read 1013 times
Cornish Lithium — the mineral extraction company evaluating the potential of mining lithium from geothermal waters beneath Cornwall — has begun drilling
two research boreholes in the Gwennap area (with the permission of local landowners and those who own the mineral rights below).
The location was determined by three years of research, plus digital modelling of the sub-surface by the company’s geoscientists in Penryn. Lithium is a vital component of batteries, including those that are used in electric vehicles and mobile phones, and the demand for this metal is rising rapidly.
The extensive mining for tin and copper that took place in Gwennap Parish in past centuries has yielded a wealth of information indicating that lithium is present in geothermal waters deep beneath historic mine workings at United Downs.
Cornish Lithium is drilling to intercept these natural features well below the depths reached during historic mining operations; it is not targeting water in the old mines themselves.
Drilling manager Mike Round (www.cornishlithium.com
) said: “Our research boreholes will be about 1,000m deep and 12cm in diameter, and they will intercept perm-eable geological structures well below known historic mine workings.
“Our geologists will take samples of geothermal waters from these permeable structures to measure the amount of lithium they contain.”
The drilling will be undertaken by a specialist contractor who has successfully carried out similar programmes around the UK and Europe, using a ‘tried and tested’ low-impact technique.