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Mineral exploration and development company Cornish Lithium has landed its first investment from a financial institution, with technology metals investor TechMet putting £18-million into the UK company.

TechMet, founded by British-South African metals industrialist Brian Menell, invests in technology metals projects around the world.

The investment will enable Cornish Lithium to fast-track development of its portfolio of projects in Cornwall, assisting the company to advance its strategy of establishing a domestic supply chain of battery metals.

Proceeds from the investment will be used to progress its hard rock and geothermal workstreams and are expected to provide sufficient working capital to fund its development plans to at least the end of 2022.

The first tranche of £9-million will be invested upon receipt of shareholder approval and the second tranche of £9-million will be invested, at the option of TechMet, following the delivery of a scoping study for the Trelavour hard rock project, which will be completed in the second quarter of 2022.

“Cornish Lithium has reached an inflection point in the company’s development where larger scale investment is required. This funding underpins the company’s ambitions in Cornwall as we seek to progress our projects towards construction and commercial production,” said CEO and founder Jeremy Wrathall.

Simon Gardner-Bond, chief technical officer of TechMet, will join the Cornish Lithium board.