Cornish Lithium has secured £53.6 million in initial investment from a group of institutional investors, led by the UK Infrastructure Bank (UKIB).
The funding will help the start-up to develop mines in south-west England, enabling the county’s development as an industrial cluster for lithium extraction and strengthening the move to net zero in line with Cornwall’s local industrial strategy.
It will help accelerate progress towards the creation of a domestic supply of battery grade lithium compounds, which are critical for the production of batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) and renewable energy storage.
Cornish Lithium aims to increase its 70-strong workforce to more than 300 people once it is in commercial production.
The initial investment, led by UKIB alongside the Energy & Minerals Group (EMG), is part of a larger funding packing of up to an additional £168 million potential second-stage financing.
The UKIB and EMG will each invest £24 million while TechMet, Cornish Lithium’s largest shareholder, is providing a further £5.6 million.
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero Grant Shapps said: “Today’s investment in Cornish Lithium is a strong vote of confidence in the South West’s future at the cutting edge of electric vehicle technologies.
“Coming hot on the heels of Tata’s investment in its gigafactory in Somerset last month – one of the largest investments ever in our automotive sector – this planned expansion will be a key part of ensuring a domestic supply of lithium that is so vital to developing batteries and battery storage here in the UK. And all of this will support our move towards a cleaner energy future, grow our economy and create new jobs, while also boosting our energy security.”