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Weardale Lithium unveils plans for 125-job ‘focal point’ factory

A company behind work aimed at charging the UK’s energy revolution has unveiled 125-job factory plans.

Weardale Lithium has submitted a blueprint to build a lithium extraction plant at Eastgate, near Stanhope, County Durham.

Earmarked for an ex-cement works site, bosses say the venture would operate as “one of the most advanced lithium extraction plants in Europe”, producing as much as 10,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate every year and adding £1 billion to the region’s economy.

Lithium is a critical raw material in electric vehicle battery production, and the factory plans follow “very positive” trials to extract the mineral from underground brines at the site.

Stewart Dickson, Weardale Lithium chief executive, said the development would provide space for material mining as well as “geothermal energy infrastructure, green technologies and associated business opportunities”.

He added: “This is the next significant step towards establishing a facility for domestic lithium production from naturally occurring geothermal groundwaters in the North East.

“The energy transition requires a significant amount of critical minerals such as lithium, and by developing this project, the UK can move towards secure, domestic and fully traceable supply.

“If our application is successful, it will become a focal point for the UK lithium industry.

“We have been pleased to receive very positive responses from the local communities and parish councils during our consultation phases and look forward to working together to make this future-facing project a reality.”

April 30, 2024

  • Build & Sustainability

Created by Steven Hugill