British Geological Survey identifies eight promising areas – further research needed.
Numerous areas in the United Kingdom have great potential for mining critical raw materials such as lithium. This is the conclusion of a report by the British Geological Survey (BGS). The study is part of the UK’s first strategy for critical minerals, which aims to increase raw material independence through, among other things, more domestic mining and production capacities.
According to the BGS, the eight particularly prospective areas include parts of the Scottish Highlands, areas in County Tyrone in Northern Ireland, northwest Wales and parts of Cumbria in England. In some of these regions, raw materials had already been extracted in the past, on the Llŷn Peninsula in North Wales, for example, manganese, which was originally important for steel production and could be important for battery production in the future.
However, not every promising area necessarily becomes a mine – this is the case for only one in a thousand potential mineral exploration projects, explains BGS geologist Eimear Deady. Should further research point to deposits, planning procedures would have to be gone through first. In addition, the report focuses on geological conditions – potential constraints to development such as nearby towns or “exceptional scenic beauty” were not considered.