A while ago I looked at the ingredients the UK has to support a successful EV design and build industry. I noted that whilst we were not Australia or Chile, the largest sources of lithium for batteries, we did have some in Cornwall.
I read recently that Cornish Lithium, the aptly named company with mining rights over much of the county, has recently raised £1.4m so that it can begin drilling at test sites. Doesn’t sound like a lot of money but doubtless if they find enough, the next funding round will be bigger and will let them explore more. This comes on top of previous funding rounds and also some government grants.
Lithium production may be profitable, depending on production at the time. Battery making, so far, isn’t, especially since China (the largest current market for EVs) cut subsidies. Like many industries, there will be consolidation and it will become a scale game. Local production, done ethically, could be a valuable addition for the right brand though. It will take more than Lithium of course – there’s still cobalt and various other rare earth elements needed.
I wish Cornish Lithium good luck at finding (first) enough and then getting sufficient funding to extract it safely and ethically. We don’t want this to turn into Sirius Minerals part 2.