Cornish Lithium, a U.K.-based mineral exploration and development company, has secured a $67 million direct equity investment led by UK Infrastructure Bank alongside the Energy & Minerals Group (EMG) and TechMet.
The round saw UK Infrastructure Bank invest approximately £24.0 million (~$30 million) along with EMG, a U.S.-based private equity fund focused on the energy and minerals sectors, also invested around £24.0 million (~$30 million). TechMet, a critical minerals investment company and Cornish Lithium’s largest existing institutional shareholder, further invested $7 million (£5.6 million), bringing its total investment into Cornish Lithium to $30 million.
The funding is expected to significantly accelerate progress toward the creation of a domestic supply of battery-grade lithium compounds, which is crucial to support the scaling up of domestic battery production for electric vehicles and battery energy storage solutions for renewable energy sources.
“This funding will enable us to progress our Trelavour hard rock lithium project to a construction-ready status as well as completing the engineering design work required to build a demonstration-scale geothermal waters extraction facility, said Jeremy Wrathall, founder and CEO of Cornish Lithium “A domestic source of lithium will strengthen the UK’s car manufacturing supply chain and improve its competitiveness whilst reducing the carbon footprint associated with the manufacture of batteries and electric vehicles.”
Following the closing of this round of initial investment, Cornish Lithium announced that they would also make available a further retail share offering through Crowdcube (Retail Offer). The offer will be for up to £6.9 million (~$7.6 million) and will prioritize its existing shareholders, with further details due to be announced in due course.
“Globally, the supply of lithium is far outpaced by demand, and yet in the UK, it remains a nascent market. Our investment has already crowded-in private sector financing, which will greatly accelerate domestic production of a mineral which is critical to the future of EV battery production and decarbonization of the transport sector. This model of investment is fundamental to the success of the UK’s transition to net zero,” said John Flint, CEO of UK Infrastructure Bank.
According to Mercom’s 1H And Q2 2023 Funding and M&A Report for Storage & Smart Grid, VC funding for Energy Storage in 1H 2023 was up 27%, with $3.8 billion in 43 deals compared to $3 billion in 48 deals in 1H 2022. VC funding for Energy Storage companies was also up in Q2 2023 with $2.7 billion in 24 deals, a 148% increase QoQ compared to $1.1 billion in 19 deals in Q1 2023.
Recently, General Motors said its venture capital arm GM Ventures, would lead a $50 million Series B financing round for EnergyX, a Texas-based startup developing a more efficient method to extract and process lithium from salt flats.