Green Lithium has secured funding to build the UK’s first large-scale commercial lithium refinery.
The current electric vehicle (EV) battery supply chain is dominated by China, with no refining capability in Europe.
However, current regulation is encouraging more localised production, the EU recently introduced the ‘Rules of Origin’ mandating that automatic equipment manufacturers localise supply chains, forcing them to source battery materials from the UK or European suppliers.
By building and operating the facility in the UK, Green Lithium, the mineral processing company hope to provide the missing link in the UK’s EV supply chain. Once in operation, the refinery will produce enough lithium to enable the UK to manufacture more than 1 million EVs per year.
In the latest funding round, Green Lithium secured £1.6m worth of funding from five high-net-worth investors. This comes in addition to £0.6m from the Government.
This round of capital will be used to fund key activities to take the project to the next stage of development, these include raw material laboratory test-work analysis, which is already underway; planning and environmental scoping and baseline surveys; ground investigation; and other activities relating to the early development phase of the project.
It is hoped that this project will create more than 1,000 jobs during the construction phase and 200 jobs once operational.
Richard Taylor, founding director at Green Lithium, said: ‘The electric vehicle revolution, which will be crucial in the transition to ‘net-zero’, requires a significant increase and diversification in the supply of low-carbon, battery-grade lithium hydroxide.
‘It is estimated that growth of more than 400% in supply is needed over the next 10 years, however current and planned refining capacity will fall short in achieving this. Green Lithium intends to help meet what would otherwise be unmet demand in an underserved market. The fact that our Seed funding round was more than five times oversubscribed reflects the scale and attractiveness of the opportunity.’
Photo by Ernest Ojeh