Technology by GeoLith to extract lithium at Cornwall pilot project
For a planned direct lithium extraction from geothermal pilot plant at the United Downs Deep Geothermal Project, GeoCubed has selected the French startup GeoLith to provide its proprietary DLE technology.
UK-based GeoCubed, a joint venture between Cornish Lithium Limited and Geothermal Engineering Limited (GEL), earlier this month announced that French technology startup GeoLith SAS has been selected to provide their Li-Capt® Direct Lithium Extraction (“DLE”) technology for GeoCubed’s Pilot Plant. GeoLith’s DLE technology was selected for use in the Pilot Plant following a comprehensive tender process. The Pilot Plant is due to be commissioned at United Downs in Cornwall by the end of March 2022.
The GBP4 million Pilot Plant is being supported by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (“LEP”) with GBP2.9 million from the UK Government’s Getting Building Fund.
During the selection process, GeoCubed and Cornish Lithium engaged with over ten providers of DLE technologies to evaluate their effectiveness on Cornish geothermal waters. Following the completion of these evaluations, five providers formally tendered their DLE technology for use in the Pilot Plant. GeoLith’s technology was selected due to the quality of their tender, the effectiveness of their technology, and their ability to design and deliver a Pilot Plant.
The Pilot Plant will be utilised to process the 140 metres3 of deep geothermal water successfully obtained during GEL’s recent testing at its United Downs site, which will confirm that lithium can be produced in Cornwall from geothermal brine. The Pilot Plant is planned to have a nominal capacity of 10 tonnes of Lithium Carbonate Equivalent per year and the results of the pilot are expected to provide sufficient information to enable the design of a commercial lithium plant in Cornwall.
Jeremy Wrathall, CEO and Founder of Cornish Lithium and a Director of GeoCubed, said: “We are delighted to announce that GeoCubed has selected GeoLith’s Li-Capt® technology for use in this Pilot Plant. We have established a good working relationship with the team at GeoLith, who provided a demonstration plant, along with their operations team, to enable us to test their DLE technology on our shallow geothermal water samples in June. This test work provided excellent results and we look forward to working with them to create this Pilot Plant, which places Cornwall at the forefront of lithium production, as the UK strives to secure a domestic supply of this vital battery metal.”
Ryan Law, MD and Founder of GEL and a Director of GeoCubed, said: “The recent geothermal tests at our United Downs site have proved that geothermal power can be produced in Cornwall. The appointment of GeoLith is also a great step forward for geothermal lithium production in the UK.”
Jean-Philippe Gibaud, CEO and Founder of GeoLith, said: “We are honoured to have been selected to provide our lithium filter technology as the “technological enabler” of this clean lithium mining project, demonstrating the feasibility of sustainable mining for the future. We would like to congratulate GeoCubed on this first semi-industrial lithium brine production facility in Europe.”
Mark Duddridge, Chair of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP said: “This is a significant step forward for GeoCubed and its ambitions to unlock Cornwall’s low carbon potential, by helping to power the green industrial revolution. We wish the team every success.”
Source: Company release