Aluminum   $ 2.1505 kg        |         Cobalt   $ 33.420 kg        |         Copper   $ 8.2940 kg        |         Gallium   $ 222.80 kg        |         Gold   $ 61736.51 kg        |         Indium   $ 284.50 kg        |         Iridium   $ 144678.36 kg        |         Iron Ore   $ 0.1083 kg        |         Lead   $ 2.1718 kg        |         Lithium   $ 29.821 kg        |         Molybdenum   $ 58.750 kg        |         Neodymium   $ 82.608 kg        |         Nickel   $ 20.616 kg        |         Palladium   $ 40303.53 kg        |         Platinum   $ 30972.89 kg        |         Rhodium   $ 131818.06 kg        |         Ruthenium   $ 14950.10 kg        |         Silver   $ 778.87 kg        |         Steel Rebar   $ 0.5063 kg        |         Tellurium   $ 73.354 kg        |         Tin   $ 25.497 kg        |         Uranium   $ 128.42 kg        |         Zinc   $ 2.3825 kg        |         
Image source:

Continuing to make strong progress with its stated ambition to deliver a secure domestic supply of lithium from the Northeast of England, using sustainable extraction and production techniques, Northern Lithium Ltd (Northern Lithium) is pleased to announce that it has signed a new exclusive Mineral Rights Agreement with the Church Commissioners for England (Church Commissioners). The new mineral rights secured, to develop the extraction of lithium and other minerals from saline brines within the Northern Pennine Orefield, County Durham, are for a much longer term and cover a far wider geographical area than the initial rights granted to Northern Lithium in 2021.

The new Agreement covers mineral rights owned by the Church Commissioners circa. 240 sq km (60,000 acres), providing up to 45 years for exploration, appraisal and production. This reflects the real success the company has had to date in developing the lithium opportunity in the region. Establishing a domestic supply of lithium both quickly and at scale is seen as vital for the UK energy transition, achieving net zero by 2050 and is central to the UK’s recently published first Battery Strategy.

This agreement establishes a long-term partnership between Northern Lithium and the Church Commissioners and follows the achievement of key development milestones which include:

Confirmation of the presence of potentially commercially viable concentrations of lithium in saline brines following an initial exploration drilling programme in 2022 at Ludwell Farm, Eastgate, County Durham;
Receiving full planning approval in June 2023 for additional in-field testing and drilling of up to six boreholes in total at the Ludwell Farm site;
The successful production in August 2023, of >99.5% purity battery grade lithium carbonate achieved at an industrial scale for the first time at Evove Ltd’s UK Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) Test Centre in Widnes, using Northern Lithium’s Northern Pennine Orefield brines; and
The recently announced strategic partnership between three North of England companies – Northern Lithium, Evove and Sheers aimed at delivering the UK’s first commercial-scale DLE plant using UK-developed advanced DLE technology, UK-sourced lithium-bearing brines and UK process engineering expertise.
The securing of these new mineral rights with the Church Commissioners will now allow Northern Lithium to expand its exploration and development activities over a much larger area and ultimately help facilitate the delivery of its goal to reach commercial production of 10,000 tonnes of battery-grade lithium per year from several production areas across the Northern Pennine Orefield. This would establish the area and wider North East as a key domestic source and supply of lithium to the UK battery and EV manufacturing sectors, providing a direct economic benefit to and the basis for continued investment in a local area long associated with the minerals industry. Northern Lithium is targeting initial commercial production of lithium from its first planned production site at Ludwell Farm in 2027.

This announcement also comes at a time when the UK government has committed, through its recently published first UK Battery Strategy, to improving the security and resilience of the country’s sourcing of critical minerals for the energy transition. The new mineral rights will play an important role in realising this ambition, as well as supporting the North East as a future centre of UK EV manufacturing, building on Nissan’s recent commitment to deliver three EV models, three gigafactories and up to £3bn investment to its industrial hub in Sunderland.

Richard Morecombe, Founder and Chairman of Northern Lithium commented: “We have come a long way and successfully delivered a number of key development milestones since first discussions with the Church Commissioners for England towards the end of 2017, and the initial granting of mineral rights in 2021. We have presented a clear opportunity to the Church Commissioners asset management team and demonstrated our ability to deliver on milestones which we will build upon under these new arrangements as we look to deliver the next development phases of our project across the wider Northern Pennine Orefield.”

Nick Pople, Managing Director of Northern Lithium added: “We are delighted to have reached this new Agreement with the Church Commissioners for England who share our ambition to build a secure, sustainable domestic supply of lithium at scale within the North East in a low impact way. If successful with our development plans, these new arrangements will deliver long-term economic benefits to the local area, North East and the UK. This has the potential to put the North East firmly on the map in terms of lithium extraction and supply and allows us to deliver a wide-spread exploration and long-term development programme at a significant scale across a large area of County Durham.”

Ciara Williams, Principal Asset Manager Farmland & Minerals at the Church Commissioners for England commented: “As a significant mineral owner, the Church Commissioners for England is delighted to have entered into an agreement with Northern Lithium in seeking to develop a sustainable domestic source of lithium in the Northeast of England. This is an exciting and progressive project, advancing the UK’s critical mineral supply and will enable further enhancement to the green economy.”

Minister for Industry and Economic Security Nusrat Ghani said: “This is great news for Northern Lithium, and another positive step in boosting the resilience of the UK’s critical minerals supply chains for the long term as we continue to grow the green industries of the future. The Northeast of England offers significant opportunities to help secure our supply of lithium responsibly and sustainably, and today’s news builds on the landmark Battery Strategy I announced last November as we ramp up our electric vehicle production and drive forward the net zero transition.”