Green Lithium large-scale merchant lithium refinery in UK announced
United Kingdom's first-ever merchant lithium refinery to supply battery grade materials for use in the electric vehicle, renewable energy and consumer technology supply chains has been announced.
The London-based mineral processing company Green Lithium will be building one of Europe's first large-scale replicable lithium refining and battery recycling plant.
This will be a major step towards a strong, green and circular economy, while also help UK to establish itself as a leader of the EV-building future, the company said.
Green Lithium's Teesport site in Middlesbrough has been chosen for the lithium refinery, delivering more than 1,000 jobs in construction and 250 long-term high-skill jobs for local people once up and running.
The company has plans to provide c.50,000 tonnes per annum of battery-grade lithium chemicals, enough to support one million EV manufacturing per year. CEO Sean Sargent said, "Green Lithium will use a world-leading, sustainable, and low-carbon refining process, which has an 80 percent lower carbon footprint than traditional refineries in existing markets".
The UK Government has backed Green Lithium with a grant of over £600,000 through the Automotive Transformation Fund.
"We're backing companies, like Green Lithium to grow the new, green industries across the UK, sparking jobs and growth for decades to come", said Grant Shapps, UK's Business Secretary.
"It is also allowing us to move quickly to secure our supply chains of critical minerals, as we know that geopolitical threats and global events beyond our control can severely impact the supply of key components that could delay the rollout of electric vehicles in the UK", he added.
UK has realized that critical minerals are at high risk of supply disruption, because of volatile markets and complex supply chains. Given Lithium's paramount importance in battery and EV industries, there is an urgent need to strengthen its supply chain to promote Europe's decarbonization and net-zero targets.
Currently, about 89 percent of the world's lithium processing takes place in East Asia, and there are no large-scale lithium refineries in Europe at present. Green Lithium claims to be the first merchant lithium refinery outside of Asia.