Community Engagement

Community engagement is a key part of our work. We recognise the value of local knowledge and that by encouraging empowerment and building relationships there can be long-term sustainable outcomes for all parties, as well as improved capacity to manage significant events such as expansion, closure and rehabilitation. 

We are based in Roche, Cornwall. The local community is very important to us and we are always keen to engage with people, groups and organisations who are interested in what we do and want to find out more.

We estimate spending £275m during the construction phase of our project and creating 400 high value, full-time jobs once we are operational. Our indirect supply chain is likely to provide employment for more than 3000 people and our projected annual expenditure in Cornwall is predicted to be around £120m.

We know how lucky we are to be based in a beautiful part of the UK and are very grateful for the community’s support as we move towards production of much-needed battery grade lithium. Cornwall enjoys a global reputation for its mining heritage and is now poised to be the first place in Europe to supply an element vital to our renewable technology future.

Strategic Adviser John Walker and John Hodkin have recently joined our team. Both have lived and worked in Cornwall over many years and are a good point of contact for community matters.

Camborne School of Mines Cricket Team

British Lithium is proud to sponsor the Camborne School of Mines Cricket Team.

Statement on Sustainability

British Lithium subscribes to IFC’s Sustainability Framework and is committed to sustainable development and risk management. The Sustainability Framework comprises IFC’s Policy and Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability. Which provides guidance on how to identify risks and impacts, and are designed to help avoid, mitigate, and manage risks and impacts as a way of doing business in a sustainable way, including stakeholder engagement and disclosure obligations in relation to project-level activities.

There are environmental challenges for the existing two major sources of lithium; mining salt lakes in the fragile “lithium triangle” of South America and remote hard-rock mines in Western Australia (which now account for 60% of global supply).

·         The extraction of lithium from brines requires a large amount of fresh water in the process. In the areas where the salars of South America occur, fresh water supplies are scarce leading to “water conflicts” between the brine mineral extraction industry and traditional farming. Production has negative effects on the local environment including pollution from the large PVC lined ponds used to evaporate the brine, which leak substances like lime and organotin to the fragile environment.

 

·         The hard rock mins in WA are centred in the remote Pilbara and south-west WA and currently produce a 6% spodumene concentrate to be shipped to China. Two refineries are under construction in Perth, however these are thousands of kilometres from the mine site requiring haulage of spodumene concentrate by diesel lorries, and haulage of tailings back to the mine site. Remote power from diesel generators adds to the carbon footprint. There are no users of lithium in Australia so product must be shipped long distances to markets. Spodumene typically occurs in narrow veins requiring a large strip ratio. Metallurgical recoveries by floatation are typically low, and use large amounts of chemicals. Spodumene is roasted at 1,200 degrees followed by a 250 degree sulphuric acid roast.

Better Environmental Performance

British Lithium believes our lithium project can have the best environmental performance of any lithium producer in the world as:

·      Only Mine to Refinery; the only mine direct feeding a concentrator and refinery on one site, reducing haulage and carbon emissions.

·      Superior strip ratio; Thick ore body seems leads to far lower strip ratio than other hard rock deposits means less waste materials needs to be excavated, hauled and impounded.

·      Higher recovery without chemicals; Beneficiation using electrostatic gives higher recovery than floatation and without use of chemicals.

·      Lower Roast Temperature <650oC for lower energy consumption; a single roast at a significantly lower temperature that spodumene roasts.

·      Neutral Leach so no acid disposal; our leach will take place at neutral pH without the need for a second roast.

·      Existing  workforce housing means; By accommodating workforce in local housing the large commuting and logistics requirements of remote mines is avoided.

·      Sustainable Power; we will maximise the use of wind and solar power and use existing sustainable electricity providers from the existing grid.

·      Electric Mining; recent development of electric haul trucks and excavators would allow for off-peak charging and emission free mining.