GeoCubed Ltd was set-up in early 2021 to develop and install a pilot plant for direct lithium extraction from deep geothermal brines in the UK.
The company is sponsored by the UK Government, supported by Cornwall County Council, and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cornish Lithium Ltd. The company successfully achieved its aim to have a pilot plant commissioned by 31 March 2022, to produce lithium for our battery-powered future.
This was a huge achievement, and Project Manager, Richard Thompson, has expressed how grateful he is to have a company staffed with a team of highly competent, experienced people, together forming a great team. The company has grown from 0 employees to 10 over the course of 2021, which is a fantastic milestone, as it’s great people who deliver great results.
GeoCubed are proud to be a Cornish company, staffed by people living in Cornwall.
Here’s an introduction to the team, in order of when they joined the company.
Richard’s varied engineering career of over 35 years has been wide-reaching in many different industries, giving him the opportunity to travel to interesting parts of the world. His career includes gold and diamond mining in Africa, chemical engineering design in the UK, and oil & gas operations in the UK, Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands. However, the pull to return home was always there, eventually returning him to the county where he trained as a Mineral Processing Engineer, at the Camborne School of Mines in Cornwall.
Heading-up the new team he is aiming to unlock mining in the 21st Century, where lithium is produced with the smallest impact on the environment possible. Richard sees this project as a fantastic opportunity for the local community in terms of potential jobs and income, and for the UK’s move to electrification.
Office Manager and Community Relations
Having moved to Cornwall at the age of 17, Christine’s career covers PA, office management, sales management and business development roles within Truro, spanning over 30 years. She holds experience in a broad variety of industries, including mining, property, finance, retail, local government, and care services. She also qualified as an IFA and ran her own mortgage broking business. Christine brings a wide range of skills and experience in office management to the project.
Cornwall will always be in Christine’s heart, and she’s thrilled to be part of a project which will not only benefit our beautiful county in so many ways but also provide the country with clean energy. Her focus, in addition to office management of our new site at United Downs, is with human resources, grant administration and community relations.
In her free time Christine enjoys an active outdoor life, sea swimming, sailing and coastal walks with her dog.
Originally from Cornwall, Daniel’s engineering career began in 2004 when he enlisted in the Royal Navy as a Mechanic, progressing to complete an electrical apprenticeship before joining the Submarine Service to qualify as a Nuclear Operator. He is very proud of his career in the Navy, with his skills and experience leading to a return home to Cornwall in 2014 for new opportunities in the Energy from Waste industry.
His role as a Shift Manager, preventing waste from going to landfill and generating power for Cornwall led to Daniel joining GeoCubed and becoming part of the 21st century return of mining to our county.
Daniel sees the lithium extraction project as an amazing opportunity to create jobs and growth for Cornwall, whilst also promoting the green industry in the UK.
Following a long career as an Electronics Engineer in the Royal Air Force, Bill settled with his family in Cornwall in 2000. He has since held several management roles within businesses across the County, including oil & gas engineering, offshore construction, and within engineering companies in the water industry.
Bill is excited to be joining the GeoCubed team on this ground-breaking project, seeing it as having real potential for creating employment within a new industry in Cornwall, whilst also contributing to addressing some of the effects of climate change, and ultimately improving all our lives.
Since graduating in Mining Engineering from Camborne School of Mines in 2017, William gained employment with Gaustec Magnetic Technologies, a manufacturer of wet high intensity magnetic separators for the minerals processing industry. Following an internship with the company in 2016, he went on to provide technical support during manufacture and operation of the machines in conjunction with conducting pilot scale mineral processing test works for the company’s existing and prospective international clients.
Joining Balfour Beatty in 2019, he went on to become a Tunnel Boring Machine Engineer at Hinkley Point C Nuclear Power Station. The project encompassed boring of 8.8km of inlet and outlet cooling water tunnels for the power station’s nuclear reactor. His role included the planning and execution of the mobilisation, launch and operation phases of all three tunnel boring machines.
Since graduating from Camborne School of Mines, Cornwall has felt like home for William. He’s excited to be joining GeoCubed and keen to be part of this revolutionary method of mineral extraction in Cornwall. He believes lithium battery technology is a key part of making the world less fossil fuel reliant and making the extraction of the metal more environmentally friendly, helping to overcome one of the technology’s biggest pitfalls. He’s proud to be building on the rich heritage of mineral extraction in Cornwall.
In his spare-time he is undertaking a personal project, to completely renovate a local farm house, with his partner, Izzy.
Michelle was born and raised in Cornwall. Over 2 years, Michelle completed an apprenticeship with Imerys Minerals Ltd which allowed her to achieve an HND in Applied Chemistry, after which she continued to work with Imerys for a further 2 years. Throughout her time with them, she worked within the Science and Technology department, focusing on Paints and Coatings, encompassing a variety of projects ranging from new project development to customer complaints.
Michelle’s excited to be joining the GeoCubed team and being part of the opportunity to build a better future for Cornwall. The extracted lithium will be used to help fight climate change and reduce the world’s carbon footprint by enabling companies to produce more electronic products. She looks forward to helping with the set-up of the pilot plant and lab which will enable more efficient extraction of Lithium.
Senior Process Engineer
Mark is a Senior Process Engineer with a Masters degree in Water Engineering. He has a broad range of process design experience, having worked with Water Authorities and Industrial Users, both nationally and internationally. He works to incorporate the needs of the client and their specifications, the process functionality from the suppliers and other multi-disciplinary design team members as well as the contractual obligations of the customer.
Mark has delivered feasibility surveys, catchment surveys, process designs, layout drawings, hydraulic profiles, and P&IDs and is an innovative thinker. Additionally, he has delivered strategies and solutions to optimise treatment plants as well as reduce water and energy consumption for industrial users.
Mark focuses on good customer relations and enjoys team building. His hobbies are singing, gig rowing, cycling, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, swimming and he is the Development Manager for a new sport to St Austell, which is Ultimate Frisbee.
David has been married to wife, Joanne, for 27 years. As well as having five children, they are also foster carers for a number of young people across the South West.
David’s main engineering experience was gained from 22 years in agriculture, maintaining and operating a variety of equipment in the Hampshire / New Forest area. He has more recently been involved in Energy from Waste, gasification, ash recycling, steel building construction, and HGV driving.
David’s qualifications and experience include: health and safety, high pressure boiler operation, chemical handling and application, confined space entry and rescue, and HGV driving. He spent nine years in Search and Rescue.
David’s favourite hobby is his love of surfing and to teach others to surf, from his home location of Newquay. He’s also a former martial arts instructor. David and his family moved to Cornwall 11 years ago as his wife is from the area, and it’s close to good surf. Now that their children are all grown, they get to spend time with their grand daughter, repeating the family cycle and loving it.
Stakeholder Engagement Co-ordinator
Zoe is a Stakeholder Engagement Co-Ordinator, and has a BSc in Geography and a MCs in International Development from Bristol University. During her education she enjoyed looking at local relationships with sustainability, specifically around Cornwall. Since graduating Zoe has spent time working in a variety of environments, including overseas, and most recently has been working in the NHS.
Zoe grew up in Cornwall and is looking forward to working in a team that is at the forefront of bringing sustainable growth and green energy to the UK, and reigniting Cornwall’s mining heritage in more climate friendly processes.
In her spare time Zoe enjoys being in or by the sea, and getting out on her horses.
Originally from Manchester Nic first came to Cornwall to study at Falmouth University. After several years of living in New Zealand, Nic relocated back to Cornwall five years ago and has not looked back since. Enjoying all the county has to offer.
Nic came to us from Cornwall Council bringing with her skill and knowledge in projects and asset management as well as public and private sector financial experience. Working with the Natural Environment department she is an advocate for promoting a greener Cornwall.
In her spare time Nic has built a growing homewares business, which uses locally sourced sustainable materials to create rustic style lighting and storage solutions. She also enjoys gig rowing, paddleboarding and exploring the coast paths with her dog Reggie.