Imerys and British Lithium deal ‘turning point’ for critical minerals in the UK, says LEP

June 29, 2023

The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has welcomed today’s announcement that Imerys and British Lithium have formed a joint venture to accelerate the development of the UK’s largest lithium deposit in Cornwall.

The deal sees Imerys acquire an 80% stake in British Lithium with the objective of creating the United Kingdom’s first integrated producer of battery-grade lithium carbonate, with a target annual production of 20,000 tonnes per year, enough for 500,000 electric vehicles or two-thirds of Britain’s estimated battery demand by 2030.

LEP Chief Executive Glenn Caplin-Grey said: “This is a huge step forward in Cornwall’s ambitions to underpin a UK-based lithium battery industry and highlights Cornwall’s crucial role in the domestic supply of critical minerals essential to the energy transition.

“It reinforces why harnessing the power of Cornwall is essential to the UK’s journey to net zero, not just in the production of lithium and other minerals like tin and tungsten, but also floating wind power from the Celtic Sea, deep geothermal energy and biofuels derived from agriculture.

“We congratulate Imerys and British Lithium on this landmark deal which is a turning point in the sustainable extraction of critical minerals in Cornwall.”

Earlier this week saw the launch of a new campaign promoting investment opportunities in Cornwall’s natural resources. ‘The Power of Cornwall‘ is a LEP-backed initiative from Cornwall Trade and Investment and features a video from broadcaster and journalist Simon Reeve.