ERM has been appointed by Cornish Lithium to lead the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for the Trelavour hard-rock mine project in Cornwall, UK.
The project is a key step towards developing a domestic supply of lithium that will accelerate the UK’s path to net-zero, ERM, a pure play sustainability consultancy, says.
Cornish Lithium is a mineral exploration and development company supporting the UK’s transition to renewable energy by developing a supply of lithium for electric vehicles and power storage batteries. The company is helping to enable a modern-day renaissance of Cornwall’s 4,000-year mining heritage by aiming to extract lithium in an environmentally-responsible manner from both geothermal waters and hard rock. The lithium extracted from hard rock in a repurposed china clay pit at Trelavour Downs will produce around 8,000 t/y of battery-grade lithium hydroxide.
ERM has been engaged to develop the ESIA to international standards in parallel with the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) required to secure planning consents for the hard-rock mine. The scope of ERM’s work includes environmental baseline development and social impact studies alongside the full suite of technical studies needed to inform the ESIA and EIA processes. ERM’s work will help to enable the feasibility study required to secure the necessary planning and permitting consents for building and operating the commercial plant, it says
Dr Simon Randall, Partner Lead for Capital Project Delivery at ERM, said: “We are delighted that Cornish Lithium has selected ERM to support the Trelavour hard-rock mine development. It builds on our recent history of working together on a variety of studies for the hard rock and geothermal aspects of Cornish Lithium’s development.
“Our appointment reflects the breadth of ERM’s capabilities from national scale techno-economic studies through to detailed permitting for process plants. We look forward to applying our global expertise in successful ESIA delivery for other lithium mines to this exciting project, which will support the UK’s transition to net-zero whilst delivering substantial economic growth in Cornwall.”
Cornish Lithium recently announced an initial $67 million funding package from a group of leading institutional investors led by the UK Infrastructure Bank alongside The Energy & Minerals Group and TechMet. The funding will enable the company to progress to a construction-ready state at Trelavour Downs, and to complete the engineering design work required to build a demonstration-scale geothermal waters extraction facility.
Kate Harcourt, Cornish Lithium’s ESG Officer, said: “We are pleased to appoint ERM to undertake these important studies, which will from an integral part of the Trelavour project’s feasibility study. We have built up a great working relationship with the ERM team and look forward to strengthening this relationship with them as they support Cornish Lithium’s work to bring the Trelavour project to a construction ready state.”