Any comment on this similar venture:
There is lithium in them thar hills, yes. That sort of tin/tungsten mineralisation is commonly associated with lithium presence. The same is true over in the Ore Mountains which are geologically rather similar.
The difference is that as the mountains wear down and the tin/tungsten ore is released (in both of those places, Cornwall and Krusny Hory, the “mining” started as panning in streams) the lithium is soluble and so runs away. So, the vast piles of cassiterite (the same tin ore) already separated out by water action at Bangka and Belitung will not be lithium containing.
So, there’s lithium in the rock. If there’s hot water – that geothermic stuff – that’s oozing through the rock then yes, that will be enriched in lithium. So, the Cornish claim is that it’s nice and rich in lithium. Rich I don’t know, but the base idea is true. There is a similar find/claim over in those Ore Mountains/Kruzny Hory.
And a major – perhaps majority, not sure – source of lithium is brines. Salty waters that are coming up from these sorts of geothermal water complexes in Chile and Bolivia and stuff.
So, yes, logically it all pins together. And there are other Cornish sources. I’ve seen papers on extraction from the slurry ponds of china clay pits. China clay being this same rock – well, -ish – which has been worn down by erosion. Volumes recoverable from the china clay slurries might not be worthwhile even as it’s definitely possible.
What I haven’t got a clue about is whether this is viable. Is the Li there? Sure. What will it cost to get it out? Dunno.
I can even proffer an idea for an ambitious type. That same mineralisation runs across central Africa from Congo over into Madagascar. All that columbo-tantalite – coltan to NGOs – is closely allied with the same sort of geological set up. In fact, I’d insist that there’s lots and lots of lithium in them thar hills. Vast chunks of it even.
It might even be cheaper to extract it from Cornish brines, who knows?