Explore the Future of Lithium Production with
Imerys British Lithium
Imerys British Lithium in the new name of a joint venture formed at the end of June 2023, when British Lithium and Imerys came together to forge a partnership for lithium extraction and lithium carbonate production in the UK. Find out more >
After several years of prospecting, British Lithium was the first company to discover a sizable lithium deposit in the UK – on Imerys mining land. It was also the first to develop a novel, environmentally-friendly process for extracting lithium and the first to produce battery grade lithium from Cornish granite.
Now known as Imerys British Lithium, the company has developed Europe’s only integrated lithium pilot plant.
As a result of this new joint venture with Imerys, the next stage is a pre-feasibility study with the objective of building a plant capable of producing over 20,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate per year, for at least 30 years. This will be enough lithium to create over half a million electric car batteries – every year!
Imerys British Lithium plans to be operational before the end of this decade. It will create over 300 direct jobs and many opportunities for local people to upskill or train. This specialist area – which brings together mining and chemistry – will create skilled, well-paid careers for many years to come.
Our work has identified a resource of over 100 million tonnes in a former clay quarry near St Austell – enough to support our projected annual production of 20,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate.
Research & Development
Protecting Our Environment
Protecting Our Environment
We are developing innovative, best-in-class, sustainable technology to economically extract lithium from Cornish granites and believe our project will be world-beating in terms of environmental performance.
The team behind Imerys British Lithium have successfully implemented
a number of resource projects
over the years. Some of these
are showcased here.
Cinovec Lithium (Czech Republic)
Cominco Phosphate (Republic of Congo)
Youanmi Gold (Western Australia)
Windimurra Vanadium (Western Australia)
Imerys British Lithium: on track to become Europe’s first commercial battery-grade lithium carbonate producer
Imerys, the world leader in mineral-based specialty solutions, has acquired an 80% stake in British Lithium. The transaction will bring together Imerys’ expertise in mining, infrastructure in Cornwall, R&D and process development capabilities, as well as its lithium mineral resources, with British Lithium’s bespoke technology and state-of-the-art lithium pilot plant, which recently produced battery-grade lithium carbonate.
Green mining of the future
From the very start, our aim has been to achieve the lowest environmental footprint possible. Car electrification is based on the need for a greener future, yet most lithium production is currently powered by coal in China.
That’s why we have developed a highly efficient process for concentrating lithium mica without using chemicals and why we will be using renewable energy to power our newly invented Mi-Sep ® technology which has a patent pending.
Welcome to Imerys British Lithium
We are developing a production method with the lowest environmental footprint possible. Car electrification is based on the need for a greener future and lithium production must be sustainable.
Our highly efficient process uses our patented Mi-Sep and Li-Sep technologies to concentrate lithium mica without using chemicals and is powered by renewables.
We go to great lengths to minimise our use of chemicals so the waste coming from our plant does not need neutralising. Once we have made a lithium mica concentrate, we calcine it at low temperature using lime as a reagent, rather than acid. The solution is subsequently purified to produce battery-grade lithium carbonate.