SLR are supporting on Britain’s first lithium mine

Post Date
04 September 2023
Read Time
2 minutes
  • Mining advisory

Following the recent news of the plans to mine lithium in the UK, we are pleased to announce SLR will be supporting Imerys British Lithium’s pre-feasibility study on a range of inter-related technical issues including: geotechnical, water management, and tailings / mine waste management.

Image credit: Imerys British Lithium Limited

Lithium is a critical component in the move towards greener energy and is one of the key minerals included in the UK governments strategy to build a UK battery supply chain. SLR’s goal of Making Sustainability Happen ensures that our Mining team are pleased to support this critical minerals project which will help the UK’s transition towards net zero.

The focus of SLR’s work is to deliver a project where:

  • geotechnical risks are suitably managed through robust investigation of the site’s subsurface conditions,
  • designs accommodate the behaviour of ground under different loading conditions,
  • water resources are managed sustainably,
  • the climatic risks to the project are understood and robustly managed; and,
  • risks to life and the environment from tailings and mine waste facilities are managed through well considered design, construction, operation, and closure phases.
Image credit: Imerys British Lithium Limited

The new lithium mine will be located on a brownfield site with a long mining history, starting with tin initially, then china clays more recently. Having discovered one of the largest lithium resources in Europe, British Lithium have been the first team to develop an environmentally friendly process for extraction. Subject to a positive outcome through feasibility studies, the project will advance through planning, permitting, and commissioning. The mining operation will be managed by Imerys British Lithium, which is the name of a new joint venture created when British Lithium and Imerys recently came together to form a partnership for lithium extraction and lithium carbonate production in the UK.

Cornwall is a region with a rich history of mining dating back over 2000 years, and with many new and exciting projects in the exploration or evaluation phase in the pursuit of a net zero Britain, SLR looks forward to continuing to support the Cornish mining sector in these technical areas and many more. SLR’s Mining team has a strong background and presence in the area and has been working closely with Imerys on their china clay operations for over 20 years, providing a broad range of integrated technical assistance in this unique setting. SLR’s team also supported the nearby tungsten mine (another critical mineral) at Hemerdon in Devon over several years on mine waste and water management infrastructure design and environmental permitting.

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