Cornish Lithium, a company with secured rights to a large unified mineral exploration program in Cornwall, has announced plans for lithium mining at the county’s hot springs.

The lithium-rich, salty underground hot springs in the county were previously regarded as a nuisance, as they caused floods in tin mines. But now that lithium is increasingly being used for power storage, like batteries for electric cars, these springs are now considered by the company as a business opportunity that could create new jobs and boost the region’s economy.

Expressing the interest of his company to this lithium mining project, Cornish Lithium chief executive Jeremy Wrathall said:

“We believe the potential benefits of developing a lithium industry in Cornwall will be significant for the county and for the UK as a whole.”

He added that his company is going to explore an area of around 300 square kilometers centered on the mining sites of Camborne, Redruth and St Day.

The project would involve drilling holes at least 400 meters deep to access the brines that carry lithium-rich hot water. If Cornish Lithium finds sufficient deposits of the metal to make the project economically viable, it will build processing plants to extract it in a large scale.

The company has also secured rights to harness geothermal energy from the hot springs. The power produced is expected to be used for the processing plants to reduce costs and satisfy the electricity needs of other industries in the region.