In its first direct equity investment, the UK Infrastructure Bank will invest approximately £24 million (US$30 million equivalent) into the development of the UK's critical minerals supply chain with EMG, a US-based private equity fund focused on the energy and minerals sectors, also investing around £24 million. Cornish Lithium's largest existing institutional shareholder, TechMet, a critical minerals investment company, whose major backers include the US government's Development Finance Corporation (DFC), is investing a further US$7 million (£5.6 million), bringing its total investment into Cornish Lithium to US$30 million.
The funding package is expected to significantly accelerate progress toward the creation of a domestic supply of battery-grade lithium compounds, which is crucial to support the scaling up of domestic battery production for electric vehicles and battery energy storage solutions for renewable energy sources. The initial investment is part of a larger funding package of up to an additional US$210 million (c.£168.0 million) potential second-stage financing, which is expected to provide the equity foundation necessary for the pioneering mineral exploration and development company to achieve commercial production.
This investment signals a significant boost for Cornwall and aligns closely with the Bank's core mandate to support the UK's transition to net zero and boost regional and local economic growth. The funding aims to enable the county's development as an industrial cluster for lithium extraction and will strengthen the move to net zero in line with Cornwall's local industrial strategy.
Once in commercial production, Cornish Lithium aims to build its 70-strong Cornwall-based workforce to over 300. Through its Trelavour hard rock mine development alone, it is estimated that Cornish Lithium could generate £800 million of economic activity for the local economy over the expected 20-year mine life. This figure is expected to increase further through development of the company's geothermal waters project portfolio.
Following the closing of this round of initial investment, Cornish Lithium has announced that it will also make available a further retail share offering through Crowdcube (Retail Offer). The offer will be for up to £6.9 million and will prioritise its existing shareholders, with further details due to be announced in due course.
Jeremy Wrathall, founder and CEO of Cornish Lithium said: "Cornish Lithium has achieved its objective of defining world-class opportunities for lithium extraction in Cornwall from both lithium-enriched geothermal waters and from hard rock. It was therefore essential to secure funding from institutional investors with the financial muscle to bring our projects into commercial production. We are delighted to have secured investment from the UK Infrastructure Bank alongside EMG, as well as our much-valued partner TechMet.
This funding will enable us to progress our Trelavour hard rock lithium project
"This funding will enable us to progress our Trelavour hard rock lithium project to a construction-ready status as well as completing the engineering design work required to build a demonstration-scale geothermal waters extraction facility.
"These project milestones are expected to generate a significant value uplift for all of our shareholders and create substantial benefits for the local community. As well as creating job opportunities and fostering innovation, the investment signals confidence in our ambitions and will drive forward the modern-day renaissance of Cornwall's 4,000-year mining heritage.
"A significant amount of work over many months has gone into securing this funding and I would like to thank our team at Cornish Lithium for all of their efforts to bring this transaction to fruition in collaboration with the teams at the UK Infrastructure Bank, EMG and TechMet."
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