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Tees Valley Lithium enters MoU with Weardale Lithium

Published by
Global Mining Review,


Alkemy Capital Investments plc has announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Tees Valley Lithium Ltd (TVL), has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Weardale Lithium Ltd (WL), an innovative natural resources company that aims to provide secure and sustainable, domestic supply of lithium with associated geothermal energy from underground brines in Weardale, County Durham.

WL and TVL consider there to be significant synergies of both producing and refining lithium in the North East of England. Under the MoU, WL and TVL will work together to create a battery-supply chain industrial hub in the North East of England. This will include the evaluation of the potential for WL to supply lithium to TVL for refining.

WL is developing a potential domestic resource of sustainable ‘green’ lithium from naturally occurring geothermal brines to support the rapidly expanding electric vehicle supply chain in North East England, as well as the wider automotive industry in the UK. Supply of domestic lithium is of strategic importance to the UK in achieving its net-zero ambitions and production of high-value batteries for electric vehicles in the auto-manufacturing sector.

In July 2022, the UK’s first ever Critical Minerals Strategy was published which, amongst other objectives, seeks to accelerate the UK’s domestic capabilities by maximising what the UK can produce domestically. Lithium is classified as a critical mineral in this report; currently, there is no commercial lithium production or refining in the UK or Europe. Lithium produced and refined in the UK will confer transportation cost advantages, supply assurances and an environmental-premium over foreign suppliers.

Construction of Train 1 of TVL’s Lithium Hydroxide processing facility at the Wilton International Chemicals Park in Teesside UK, the first of four trains planned for the site, will produce 24 000 tpy of battery-grade LHM. Once completed, all four trains will produce a total of 96 000 tpy LHM, representing around 15% of Europe’s projected demand by 2030.

More than 700 GW of gigafactories are planned for construction across Europe which will require over 325 000 tpy of lithium hydroxide: currently there is zero lithium hydroxide capacity in Europe.

By sourcing low carbon feedstock and powering an electrochemical process with offshore wind, TVL is aiming to supply its customers with the world’s lowest-carbon lithium hydroxide.

Stewart Dickson, CEO of Weardale Lithium, said: “Weardale Lithium has the objective to become a UK supplier of lithium from geothermal brines. Our partnership with Tees Valley Lithium is another important step in developing an integrated and coherent supply of lithium in North East England. In order to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles and meet net-zero targets, the UK needs to secure supply of lithium for refining and production of battery-grade lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate. This collaboration with Tees Valley Lithium is highly-beneficial for both parties as we both seek to maintain the momentum behind the development of the battery ecosystem in the North East. This builds on the region’s existing strengths in electrification, automotive and advanced manufacturing and enhances the North East’s position at the forefront of electrification technologies. Local supply of high-value critical minerals products should support the development of the electrification revolution for years to come, generating highly skilled science, technology and engineering opportunities and at the same time, reducing the environmental impacts and supply risks of imported raw materials.

“This is potentially win-win for both companies and the North East.”

John Walker, CEO of Tees Valley Lithium, added: “Tees Valley Lithium is in the process of establishing a world-class Lithium Hydroxide production at the Wilton International Chemicals Park, located in the Teesside Freeport, in order to supply the burgeoning demand from Gigafactories in the UK and Europe. TVL will bring high value intermediate lithium products with a low carbon footprint from around the world, and provide customers in the UK and Europe with an independent and sustainable supply of battery-grade lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate.

“We are pleased to be bringing back high value manufacturing to the North East and securing the critical minerals for the UK’s journey to net zero.”

Read the article online at: https://www.globalminingreview.com/finance-business/15082022/tees-valley-lithium-enters-mou-with-weardale-lithium/

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