Cornish Lithium proposes new geothermal lithium project at Blackwater, UK

Cornish Lithium proposes new geothermal lithium project at Blackwater, UK Cornish Valleys, Cornwall, UK (source: flickr/ Jack Pease, creative commons)
Carlo Cariaga 6 Feb 2023

Cornish Lithium has proposed the drilling of a research borehole to explore the lithium potential of geothermal waters at Blackwater in Cornwall, England.

UK-based mineral exploration company Cornish Lithium has announced plans to explore for geothermal lithium resources in the vicinity of the village of Blackwater at Cornwall, England. To this end, the company intends to submit a General Permitted Development Order (GDPO) to Cornwall Council to request for the relevant permissions to drill an initial research borehole.

The potential of Blackwater for hosting geothermal lithium had been identified by Cornish Lithium based on an extensive digital model of the geology of Cornwall. Moreover, a research borehole drilled at Twelveheads to a depth of about 2000 meters has confirmed the enrichment of lithium in the geothermal fluids. A research borehole at Blackwater will help build on the knowledge gained at Twelveheads while also exploring the lithium potential of the geothermal waters.

If permission is granted, Cornish Lithium plans to conduct a six-month drilling programme starting on spring 2023. A second borehole may be drilled if the results of the first are favorable. Rock cores will be collected from the initial borehole to help in identifying permeable structures.

Proposed drill site in the Blackwater area (source: Cornish Lithium)

To share its plans with local people, the company will be hosting community engagement events from 23 to 28 February. These events will provide those who live in the area with an opportunity to find out more about this proposed exploration project, raise any questions with members of staff and receive information sheets.

By extracting lithium from mineral-rich groundwaters that circulate beneath the surface of Cornwall, Cornish Lithium aims to provide a carbon-neutral, low-impact resource to help mitigate the global lithium shortage and produce valuable by-products, including heat, which can be used as a renewable energy source for local businesses and communities.

The planned geothermal lithium project at Blackwater would form part of Cornish Lithium’s wider strategy to contribute to a secure, domestic supply of lithium for the UK, revive Cornwall’s mining heritage and impact positively on the Cornish economy.

In 2022, Cornish Lithium successfully commissioned a Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) Pilot Plant – the first in the UK – at the geothermal waters test facility in Cornwall. The company is currently testing which DLE processing technologies are most suitable for extraction of lithium from geothermal waters.

Source: Cornish Lithium