LONDON (Reuters) – The British government has handed out 850,000 kilos for analysis that makes use of satellites to determine deposits of minerals, together with battery steel lithium, as a part of efforts to bolster the financial system after the exit from the European Union.
The venture named the Satellite Applications Catapult is looking for to evaluate the standard of mineral buildings, to make sure exploration spending is concentrated on the very best deposits, by analysing satellite tv for pc pictures of geology and vegetation, British miner Cornish Lithium, which is taking part, mentioned.
Others concerned within the venture embrace the British Geological Survey, the Camborne School of Mines, which is a part of Exeter University, and environmental consultancy North Coast Consulting.
“We are very pleased with the results so far and we believe this research could lead to ground-breaking satellite applications for the exploration and mining industry,” Jeremy Wrathall, CEO of Cornish Lithium, which seeks to extract lithium from brine in Cornwall, southwestern England, informed Reuters in an interview.
Full outcomes from the venture ought to be identified in March, he mentioned.
The British government is relying on a low-carbon automotive trade to assist shore up the financial system after the nation leaves the European Union.
It has mentioned it would ban new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2040, elevating the prospect of an enormous enhance in demand for lithium.
Lithium has been primarily produced from arduous rock in Australia and from evaporation in Latin America, the place the solar is the vitality supply.
Extracting lithium from Cornish brines has been thought of too pricey, however new expertise could make it viable, analysts say, and Cornish Lithium says its venture may benefit from the event of geothermal vitality within the space.
It additionally says its work has synergies with different tasks to revive Britain’s industrial base.
Last 12 months, Cornish Lithium introduced it had reached a mineral rights settlement with Canada’s Strongbow Exploration, which in 2016 purchased South Crofty, the final tin mine to shut in Cornwall, and is looking for to deliver again tin manufacturing there.
Strongbow would get royalties from any lithium extracted by Cornish Lithium from brine springs within the space.
Reporting by Barbara Lewis; Editing by Susan Fenton