Mineral processing company Green Lithium has secured a £631,000 ($878,000) grant to support its plan to build and operate Europe’s first large-scale lithium refinery in the UK.
The company aims to eventually produce 50,000 tonnes of battery grade lithium hydroxide per year from a variety of ‘feed material types’.
The money is from the Advanced Propulsion Centre’s (APC) Automotive Transformation Fund Feasibility Studies (ATF FS2).
Building work on the plant is scheduled for 2023, with the first materials due to be manufactured the following year.
Green Lithium says it aims to “fill the missing link in the electric vehicle supply chain” that sees Europe’s battery makers wholly reliant on China for its battery-grade lithium hydroxide.
It is predicted the UK and European electric vehicle industries will require 1.4 million tonnes of refined battery-grade lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate per year by 2030, meaning growth of more than 400% in supply is needed over the next 10 years.
Richard Taylor, founding director at Green Lithium, said: “In order to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles and meet net-zero targets, we need to increase and diversify the supply of low-carbon, battery-grade lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate.
“By providing the missing link in the supply chain, we aim to become the gateway to, and critical enabler for, the UK and European electric vehicle market.
“We are committed to achieving a carbon net-zero operation, targeting 2030, and providing a secure, local, low-carbon source of refined battery-grade lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate with 100% traceability for the lithium-ion battery industry.”