It is only a few weeks until the company in Cornwall at the heart of the “Klondike of Lithium” must find PS10m of additional funding or it will collapse.
Cornish Lithium must secure a capital infusion by the end July to “ensure the business can meet financial commitments”, according to the company’s annual report.
It is hoped that can produce enough lithium for fuel plants to manufacture electric vehicles.
Boris Johnson, then-prime minister , praised Cornwall as the “Klondike” of lithium in 2021 and suggested that a gigafactory could be built in the county.
Cornish Lithium will need more money to begin production by 2026.
In 2021, the received £18m by investment metals investor TechMet. The US government has also invested capital through a US-based investment company.
Cornish Lithium filed its accounts last week, signed on June 5, and revealed that the company’s cash reserves were in a poor state.
The company stated: “At time of signing, the amount and timing of funding was uncertain. However, discussions are moving forward well, and management is confident that an accord will be reached by the end of the year to allow the group meet its short-term obligations.”
Cornish Lithium’s bosses said that they are also in advanced talks with new investors for “medium- to long-term funding” of the group’s project.
If the company is unable to secure long-term investment, it will be forced to cut planned expenditure.
Ian Cockerill’s chairman blamed the Government in Cornish Lithium’s annual report for not offering taxpayer-funded incentives that are comparable to those offered by companies in the US or the European Union.
He said: “The UK has fallen behind in the global race to secure industries that will fuel the energy transition towards renewable power and electric transport.
The automotive industry and its related industries make up a large part of the UK GDP. A diminished, or worse, disappearing motor sector in the UK could cause a great deal of damage to the economy.
The UK is at a disadvantage because it lacks an industrial strategy in the race to develop electric vehicles.