United Kingdom: Cornwall, the new lithium Eldorado?
The subsoil of Cornwall, a former mining region in the far south-west of the UK, has much to offer. After cobalt and tin in the 19th century, Cornwall is now hoping for a lithium rush. Its reserves are said to be among the most abundant in Europe: enough to supply half of the UK’s needs within a few years, according to the industry. Lithiumis an important metal in the transition to electric cars.
Drilling into the rock at a depth of 1,600 metres
British engineering teams have discovered lithium in the geothermal waters of Cornwall. To reach and extract it, the rock must first be drilled. The goal: 1 600 metres deep. The researchers gained time because they knew where to dig thanks to maps from 1864. A geologist had in fact studied the mysterious hot water that invaded the galleries in Cornwall and disturbed the miners’ work. “He discovered that these waters were rich in lithium,” explains Mike Round, operations manager of Cornish Lithium.