Soil Survey Begins:
What is DDC?
Deep Digital Cornwall (DDC) is a research project led by the Camborne School of Mines and the Institute for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence at the University of Exeter. DDC is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), via HM Ministry of Housing, Communities, and Local Government (HMCLG).
The aim of the Deep Digital project is to create a world-leading cluster of research-active, highly innovative businesses applying digital solutions to a wide range of business opportunities connected to the underground including mining, geothermal, civil engineering, environmental, surveying, water resources, planning and permitting, heritage, tourism.
What is Cornish Lithium's relationship with DDC?
Cornish Lithium are one of the delivery partners for this university-based research project and will be undertaking this soil survey on behalf of DDC. Other partners include Cornwall Resources and the South West Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications.
What is this survey?
In early 2023, Cornish Lithium will be conducting a soil geochemistry survey in agricultural fields of interest. The study will complement the airborne electromagnetic (AEM) survey (outlined in red in Figure 1), by targeting anticipated structures within the AEM survey study area. The survey data will be made openly available to all interested parties, including industry and academia, through DDC’s 3D visualisation suite.
How is the survey going to be undertaken?
Two geologists will work together collecting samples and will drive to the closest accessible location to the sampling point, which will be agreed in advance with the landowner and tenant. The samples are 10 m apart and the traverses are generally spaced every 100 m in the areas of interest. Small diameter holes to a maximum depth of around 70 cm, will be dug using a petrol-powered auger (Figure 2). A sample of soil will be taken from the bottom of the hole and shipped to an accredited laboratory for geochemical analysis. Once analysed, the data will be made available through DDC’s visualisation suite.
What is the purpose of the survey?
The survey is designed to target regional fault systems, known as crosscourses and lodes. These structures contain lithium enriched waters which are expected to provide a vital source of this key metal to the U.K.’s battery and electric vehicle industries. Soil geochemistry is a cost-effective and relatively unintrusive way to undertake mineral exploration on a large scale. A similar survey was conducted in 2022 by Cornwall Resources Limited as part of the DDC project.
How might this survey affect me?
Cornish Lithium are requesting access to agricultural land in the areas of interest. We will be taking samples in predesignated locations, with approval from the landowner and tenant. A cable avoidance tool will be used to make sure no buried services are present. Any turf will be cut, placed to one side and replaced after sampling is completed. As the size of the sample taken is small, subsidence will be negligible. As the auger is petrol-powered, there will be noise generated but it will only be for a couple of minutes per sample.
Queries should be directed to Cornish Lithium firstname.lastname@example.org