Automotive Transformation Fund

Imerys British Lithium: mining critical materials for EV batteries 

Imerys British Lithium has discovered 161 million tonnes of lithium ore in the granite beneath a Cornish clay mine, which could produce 20 kilotonnes of refined lithium per year for 30 years. The Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF), managed by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), has supported a pilot processing plant at the same location. 

Creating a local supply chain of critical materials for UK industry is important to meet rising demand, especially in electric vehicle battery manufacturing.   

Data from the APC’s Q3 2023 quarterly demand report shows that, in the UK alone, 59 kilotonnes of lithium will be required by the automotive sector by 2030.  

The viability of this particular site has been supported by the APC’s Scale-Up Readiness Validation (SURV) and Feasibility Study competitions, funded by the Government’s ATF. 

Recently, Imerys has taken an 80% stake in British Lithium, boosting the world’s first end-to-end pilot plant venture to produce sustainable battery-grade lithium in Cornwall.   

Watch this case study to learn more about the plant and support of the ATF. 

To understand the UK’s critical mineral dependencies, vulnerabilities, and prospects for the future, the Minister for Industry and Investment Security, Nusrat Ghani MP, convened the Independent Task & Finish Group on Industry Resilience for Critical Minerals – the report of which has been published December 2023. 

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Imerys British Lithium has discovered 161 million tonnes of lithium ore in the granite beneath a Cornish clay mine, which could produce 20 kilotonnes of refined lithium per year for 30 years. We sent transport and energy journalist David James to find out how support through the Automotive Transformation Fund has supported a pilot processing plant at the same location.

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