Lithium and Hope

Cornish Lithium brings new hope for mining in Cornwall

There is never a better place to start a story, than with a story of hope, and if you are interested in Cornwall, there is no better story than one that contains not only hope, but buccaneers and mining – a true blend of culture, language and adventure!


So, our first blog story will be the story of the hope that is within Lithium for Cornwall, and how our Vocational English Courses (taught in a CLIL/TVET style) can be closely focused on the type of language that is relevant to their desired professional field.

Mining has moulded Cornwall’s landscape for millennia, and shaped its fortunes for centuries. Once you are here, beyond the beaches and lush gardens, there are deep rips in the land showing the white scars of the china clay pits, great granite grey boulders pushing up through the yellow gorse hillsides, and the slick ore stained cliffs that line the beaches. Cornwall is a land of many colours when you broaden your view away from the beguiling turquoise of our sea!
​The new hope is the element Lithium, which chemist William Allen Miller realised was present in Cornwall in 1864 at levels he, even then, described as “potentially commercially viable.” Fast forward to 2021 and waters pumped up to the surface at United Downs tested with levels of Lithium were found to be the highest in the world. Lithium is used to make the lithium-ion batteries for electric cars, and is used in mobile devices – essentially this light and energy dense element is key to the carbon neutral aspirations of the world.
​Enter our buccaneers – the two mining companies who are pitted against each other, the land itself and plenty of financial and technological challenges – Cornish Lithium Ltd founded by Jeremey Wrathall and British Lithium led by Andrew Smith. Both seek to use innovative techniques to extract lithium from the mica in granite sustainably and whilst protecting the environment. All eyes are on them as they race to the finish. It is likely to take up to a decade to be successful, and has been described as a ‘Green Rush’ as lithium becomes a geopolitical resource. These two companies are intelligent and engaged competitors, the very nature of which is pushing the science and mining into exciting new ethical and environmental pastures – the ultimate point of lithium is to help the environment.
At Language Tree, our Vocational English course is flexible enough to design bespoke courses for groups wishing to extend expertise in both mining and the environmental management of the industry itself, with the added bonus that its an area we are particularly interested in! As a British Council accredited school, we are engaged in supporting students from a diverse spectrum of backgrounds to study with us here is Cornwall. We have supported students to come and work in mining roles as part of our Vocational English courses, and to continue their studies at the world famous Camborne School of Mines. Our students have had sought after trips to Geothermal Engineering Limited, Imerys and Geevor as part of their supporting learning activities – and have always been the most loved of our Vocational English Courses scientific educational trips.

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13 Kenwyn Street, Truro, Cornwall. TR1 3DJ. United Kingdom

Company Number: 07803317