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Lecture Series

Royal Institution of Cornwall 2019 Lecture Series

The RIC lecture series is a high quality events programme featuring world-renowned speakers, showcasing academic excellence coming from both inside and outside the Royal Institution of Cornwall.


Every Third Thursday of the Month from 6pm-7pm
£4 Members, £7 Non-Members
FREE for 16’s and under

October 24th
Cornish Lithium: Exploration for a new metal in an old mining region
Lucy Crane, Cornish Lithium

Elevated lithium values from hot springs in Cornwall were first reported by Miller in 1864, and were subsequently recognised in many tin and copper mines which were worked until the end of the 20th century. With increased interest in renewable energy sources and rising demand for batteries for electric vehicles, the lithium contained within these deep Cornish brines is now of significant interest. The growth in the electric vehicles (EV) market and the demand for Li-ion batteries that followed has completely changed the prospects for lithium mining worldwide and, potentially, in Cornwall. In 2016, the number of EVs on the road rose to over two million worldwide, marking a significant jump over the last decade from less than 200,000 on the road in 2006. These numbers are expected to grow significantly over the coming two decades ahead of outrights bans on the sale of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles by many governments, including that of the UK.

Recent advances in lithium extraction technologies, without the use of solar evaporation, now offer the potential to extract lithium from brine at much lower levels of concentration. Not only do these technologies have a much smaller environmental footprint than traditional evaporation ponds, but they will also make the process much more efficient. By identifying lithium bearing brines at depth, Cornish Lithium is planning to drill extraction boreholes into large ‘cross-course’ fault structures in autumn 2019 which are believed to act as conduits for permeable fluid flow.

Cornish Lithium has successfully secured rights to extract lithium from brine over large areas of Cornwall. The company believes that the presence of lithium bearing brines in the County may now represent a commercial opportunity.

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November 12th
Making Emmanuel Cooper, David Horbury 
A new book exploring the life of Leach potter Emmanuel Cooper is due to be published in October 2019. Cooper’s long term partner David Horbury will be speaking about  Emmanuel’s career as a potter as well as his thoughts on a range of issues from the art versus craft debate through to gay marriage and monogamy, as well his passion for folk art, insights into his work at the Royal College of Art and his editorship of the internationally acclaimed Ceramic Review magazine.

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November 21st
Mining and Miners at South Crofty mine, Mark Kaczmarek
As an ex-miner from South Crofty, Mark will be talking about the closing of the mine, the mining industry in the latter half of the 20th century, his later work with Camborne School of Mines and where the future of mining in Cornwall may turn.
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