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UK's Green Lithium secures GBP1.6 million in funding to build large-scale refinery in UK

Highlights

Funding closed five times higher than target

Will fund key development activities

50,000 mt/year refinery to produce enough lithium hydroxide to make over 1 million EVs

Mineral processing company Green Lithium has secured GBP1.6 million ($2.2 million) in funding to progress its plans to build and operate a large-scale 50,000 mt/year commercial lithium refinery in the UK.

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It said June 28 that the seed round funding had attracted funding from a range of high-net-worth individual investors and had closed at more than five times higher than the initial target amount.

The funding will be used to fund key development activities taking place over the next 18 months to take the refinery to ready-to-build status.

These include ongoing raw material laboratory test-work analysis; planning and environmental scoping and baseline surveys; ground investigation; and other activities.

Green Lithium said that it was also in the process of raising further investment through a Series A funding round to fund the later stage of its development phase activity.

The company also received a GBP631,000 from the UK Government's Automotive Transformation Fund in April.

The 50,000 mt/year refinery is planned to produce enough lithium hydroxide to enable manufacture of more than 1 million electric vehicles per year.

By building the refinery, Green Lithium is aiming to provide the missing link in the EV supply chain, using a sustainable and low-carbon refining process to connect the UK and Europe's lithium battery and cell manufacturers with international sources of raw lithium material.

"Currently, there is no commercial lithium refining capability of scale in Europe, leaving the continent's rapidly growing electric vehicle (EV) and sustainable energy storage sectors wholly reliant on international sources of battery-grade lithium hydroxide," Green Lithium said.

It added that the EU and UK's rules of origin also mandated that automakers localize supply chains and source battery materials from UK or European suppliers to avoid punitive tariffs.

Green Lithium founding director Richard Taylor said significant increase and diversification in the supply of low-carbon, battery-grade lithium hydroxide was required for the transition to net-zero.

"It is estimated that growth of more than 400% in supply is needed over the next 10 years, however current and planned refining capacity will fall short in achieving this. Green Lithium intends to help meet what would otherwise be unmet demand in an underserved market," Taylor said.