Green Lithium, the mineral processing company, has secured £1.6 million in Seed round funding as it progresses plans to build and operate the UK’s first large-scale commercial lithium refinery.
The Seed round attracted funding from a range of high-net-worth individual investors, closing at more than five times the initial target amount. This comes in addition to the £0.6m UK Government grant secured from the Automotive Transformation Fund in April.
The Seed round capital will be used to fund key activities to take the project to the next stage of development, these include: raw material laboratory test-work analysis, which is already underway; planning and environmental scoping and baseline surveys; ground investigation; and other activities relating to the early development phase of the project.
Through a Series A funding round, the company is in the process of raising further investment to fund the later stage of its development phase activity, with energy transition consultancy Ikigai Capital appointed to create a bankable structure and introduce strategic and financial investors.
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. Further, supportive regulation is driving localised production – the EU has introduced the ‘Rules of Origin’, mandating automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to localise supply chains, forcing them to source battery materials from UK or European suppliers, with non-compliance resulting in punitive tariffs.
By building and operating the facility in the UK, Green Lithium aims to provide the missing link in the EV supply chain, using an industry-leading, sustainable and low-carbon refining process to connect the UK’s and Europe’s lithium battery and cell manufacturers with abundant international sources of raw lithium material. The project will create more than 1,000 jobs during the construction phase, and 200 jobs once operational. The 50,000 tonne per annum refinery will produce enough lithium hydroxide to enable manufacture of more than 1 million EVs per year and will put Green Lithium at the very forefront of the electric vehicle revolution.
Richard Taylor, founding director at Green Lithium, said, “The electric vehicle revolution, which will be crucial in the transition to ‘net-zero’, requires a significant increase and diversification in the supply of low-carbon, battery-grade lithium hydroxide. 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. The fact that our Seed funding round was more than five times oversubscribed reflects the scale and attractiveness of the opportunity.”
Roberto Castiglioni, CEO and co-founder of Ikigai Capital, said, “After a successful Seed round, Green Lithium is now moving towards the development of key project areas that will take the refinery to ‘ready-to-build’ within the next 18 months. This is a key window for strategic investors to access a project that will play an important role in the future of mobility and we are proud to be supporting the Green Lithium team.”