Teesdale Powers the Future!

The ‘Weardale Lithium’ project aims to research the importance of County Durham (Teesdale in particular) in the mining of Lithium.

County Durham has been a mining hotspot for centuries, mining in the area had a boom around the mid-1900’s. Then they were mining for coal - the powerhouse of the industrial age. Now, Lithium is the way forward - and our local area could be key to this progress.

Lithium is integral to the production of electric car batteries, and is a finite resource held in only a few hotspots around the world such as Canada, South America, and some parts of Africa. The deposits that are currently being researched in our area could be as significant as these global competitors, not only putting County Durham on the map, but also creating jobs for thousands of locals.

Although this sounds incredible, and in part it is, there are some concerns over possible damages to Teesdale's AONB landscapes. The area is known for its beauty, it attracts tourists from all over the world to see sights like High Force and Kirk Carrion in Middleton-in-Teesdale. It's not just tourists either, local residents adore the surrounding landscape and are worried about the impact. One local had this to say about the issue:

‘I’m extremely concerned about the potential impact on our landscape here, I understand the positive benefits and hope that our nature is kept safe.’

Rosie T.

It seems, whilst local residents have a right to be worried, lithium companies assure residents that their wellbeing will be put before economic profit.

So, like all things, there are two sides to this coin. One of incredible economic and social success, and making County Durham even more important to English society. Or the potential issue of damaging the wildlife and habitats of our local AONB areas in the North Pennines.