UK-based mining company Cornish Lithium has said its United Downs Lithium Pilot Plant, has been delivered on time and budget, after its subsidiary GeoCubed successfully commissioned and delivered the Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) Pilot Plant at the Geothermal Waters Test Facility.
Additionally, Cornish Lithium said it has agreed with Geothermal Engineering to acquire its 10% share in GeoCubed and become its sole owner.
The Direct Lithium Extraction Pilot Plant has been designed to process Cornish geothermal waters using DLE technologies and is the first time that a DLE system has become operational in the UK.
The US$5.25 million (£4 million) Pilot Plant is being supported by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) with $3.81 million (£2.9 million) from the UK Government's Getting Building Fund.
Initially, the Pilot Plant will test GeoLith SAS' (Geolith) Li-Capt DLE technology and process the 140 metres3 of deep geothermal water obtained during GEL's testing at its own United Downs site last year.
Cornish Lithium expects to confirm that lithium can be produced in Cornwall from geothermal waters. The Pilot Plant is expected to provide sufficient information to enable the design of a commercial lithium plant in the County.
Throughout 2022, different DLE technologies will be tested, utilising the Pilot Plant, to establish the preferred technology for future DLE plants in Cornwall.
The Pilot Plant has been designed to be as flexible as possible and constructed in standard 20-foot containers, enabling relocation to different sites to test new boreholes if required.
Jeremy Wrathall, chief executive officer and founder of Cornish Lithium, said: "We are delighted to announce that the United Downs DLE pilot plant has been successfully commissioned on time and budget.
"This is a testament to the hard work and commitment of the GeoCubed team and our technology partners at GeoLith.
"The Pilot Plant will be a great asset for the Company as we work to establish the most appropriate DLE technology to process Cornish geothermal waters."