We use cookies on this website to enhance your user experience. By continuing on this website you are agreeing to the use of these cookies. For further information please read our Cookie policy.

2020 Minerals HRA

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

The Crown Estate grants Cornish Lithium rights to explore for lithium off the Cornish coast

The Crown Estate, manager of the seabed and much of the foreshore around England, Wales and Northern Ireland, has today announced the outcome of its Minerals Licensing Round, granting Cornish Lithium rights to explore for lithium within geothermal waters in areas off both the north and south coasts of Cornwall.

Lithium is a key component of lithium-ion batteries used for electric vehicles and renewable energy power storage, and as such, has a valuable role to play in helping the UK to meet its ambitious climate change targets. The UK currently imports lithium, and its environmentally-responsible production in the UK would represent an important step forward in combating climate change.

The award of rights follows a comprehensive two-year tender process (commenced in 2018) and an environmental assessment known as a plan-level Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) that concluded in December 2020.

It gives Cornish Lithium the opportunity to explore offshore for potential lithium mineral resources contained within geothermal waters. The grant of rights means that Cornish Lithium can now begin its desk-based exploration programme, to start to identify potential geological targets for later research. Physical exploration works are not anticipated for at least four years, following the appropriate desk studies, design works and extensive consultation.

In order for Cornish Lithium to proceed to commercial extraction the business will need to meet all the milestones required for extraction rights from The Crown Estate, as well as statutory planning and environmental consents from the relevant regulatory body, which would include consultation. Whilst exploration work for lithium in geothermal waters is at an early stage, lithium extraction has significant potential to create new revenue and jobs within a new industry for the benefit of Cornwall.

Read the HRA reports here