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I don’t, in fact, believe Cornish Lithium

Now, this is almost certainly an error of mine, not of theirs. But their Teleavour plan is from mica. OK, yes, sure there is much of that down there. Very similar to Zinnwald Lithium and European Metals – the processing system will be near exactly the same in fact.

Is this chemically possible? Sure. Business-possible? Well, they’ve done the numbers, not me.

But this, to me, is one of those blaring red-light neenaws.

High value by-products: kaolin, caesium and rubidium,
Potash, Amorphous Silica, Gypsum – Test work underway

Sure, kaolin, that’s China Clay. It’s an old China Clay pit so, well, obviously.

Again, this could just be me. But anyone claiming Rb as a valuable byproduct has some definite convincing to do to me.

High value co-products (caesium, rubidium & potash fertilizer)

Potash, sure. But rubidium?

The US uses a couple of tonnes (that’s two tonnes) a year. The prices given are catalogue prices. That is, this is the cost from a catalogue where copper will cost you $60 a gramme (as opposed to $7,000 a tonne in quantity). So, including the cost of the stock, the catalogue, the overnight delivery, the certainty of supply and so on and on.

A couple of tonnes a year, sure, there’s a business there. Hell, I ran one doing exactly that for a decade even if with a different material. But a high-value coproduct on a $250 million mine? Gerraway.

Please do note my point here. It’s not that Rb can’t be mined and sold in small quantity. It’s that anyone using Rb as an example of a moneymaker has achieved my scepticism.

Other parts of their story I think sound excellent – I know, independently, that the extraction from geothermal is viable in the chemistry set sense. Even, from the horse’s mouth, that it’s viable cashwise.

But I just can’t get over this prejudice that folk talking about Rb markets aren’t being serious.

6 thoughts on “I don’t, in fact, believe Cornish Lithium”

  1. Rubidium is an interesting element. It’s used a lot in high accuracy frequency sources – not as accurate as caesium but much cheaper. It’s also used in quantum computing. Perhaps that’s where the company thinks there will be a growth area for its use.

  2. The amount of rubidium in a rubidium clock is in the microgram to milligram range. You would have to sell an enormous number of them to move the market much.

  3. Just listened to a podcast talking about the appalling conditions for lithium mining in the Congo, berated US corps and their CEO’s for ignoring it before eventually getting around to the fact that the mines are all Chinese owned and run.

    Did though draw interesting parallels with Leopold and the Belgians running rubber tree harvesting and current day (exploitation being a long historical issue) and that that history being the basis for Conrad’s Heart of Darkness

  4. Meant cobalt in the Congo, it was part of discussion on the demand for batteries especially for EV’s and where the materials are sourced from.

    Starting to see a few ‘are EV’s such a good idea’ articles even in MSM which is an interesting change in position.

  5. With the unexpected wintery weather arriving unexpectedly in winter, many people are finding EVs don’t work when it’s cold. My suggestion of stuffing oily rags under the engine and setting fire to them didn’t go down well. Hey, it works for my diesel tractor!

  6. Given that the thing is written by someone who thinks “potash” is still a relevant term…

    Or are they going for the Belle Epoque feeling for the Snowflakes?

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