29 July 2021
by Andrea Gaini

Cornish tin mine gets planning consent

Cornish Tin Limited, UK, a Cornwall-based mineral exploration company, has been granted planning consent for a six-month Phase One exploration drilling programme of 33 diamond drill holes.

Cornwall
© Danilo D'Agostino/Unsplash

This group of 26 former producing mines, last operated in the 1800s, were described in 1929 as ‘the richest in tin of all the Cornish mines, probably the richest tin mine which has ever been worked in the world.’ Historic production grades were high, averaging approximately 3.5% tin, and peaking at over 5.5% tin. Even assuming a current production grade of only 2% tin this would be one of the top 3 tin mines by grade in the world if being mined today.

No pneumatic or percussive drilling or blasting will be involved and extensive work has been carried out to ensure that the natural environment is protected, supported by a detailed Ecological Impact Assessment.

Sally Norcross-Webb, the CEO of Cornish Tin, says, ‘After five years of geological research, work on environmental protection, and securing mineral rights, Cornish Tin now has the go-ahead to open up for exploration one of the most important mining areas in Europe.

‘The mines closed in the 1870s, not through any lack of mineral resource, but due to 20 years of litigation against illegal operators who took what they could grab, before losing the case, but had to leave significant resources still in the ground. Since closure 150 years ago, no-one has been able to put together the necessary mineral rights to take the Project forward, until now.’

Norcross-Webb adds, ‘Key environmental protections include low noise, little impact on traffic, positioning drill holes to protect hedgerows, natural water features and wildlife, and habitat management plans. The drilling of 33 holes will not involve the loss of any trees, but to support the local natural environment we will plant 33 young trees of species native to Cornwall and supportive of wildlife.’

‘Cornwall is still one of the poorest regions in Europe, but with further investment it could level up and retake its place as Europe's leading tin producer.’

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Andrea Gaini