Tin mining is being predicted a bright future once more in Cornwall after drilling tests revealed better than expected high-grade ore and larger lodes.
The company behind a series of exploratory drilling tests at Redmoor Mine in north Cornwall believes the project’s potential is not only there but is in fact better than anticipated.
Cornwall Resources has already dug a series of test holes on the site of the former Redmoor Mine near Kelly Bray, Callington, as part of a £180,000, 19-hole test phase.
Bosses at the firm, which is part of a joint venture between several multinational companies, said the results were very encouraging but needed to be confirmed by a second £150,000 phase of drilling tests in the run-up to Christmas.
The price of tin has been rising in recent years and several companies are looking again to Cornwall for its rich underground resources.
Test drilling has revealed a large quantity of high quality tin and tungsten under the former Redmoor Mine near Callington
Cornwall Resources is part of the AIM-listed Strategic Minerals Limited, whose director, Peter Wale, last year made a presentation at the House of Commons about the Redmoor plans. AIM is a submarket of the London Stock Exchange.
Mr Wale said that while it was too early to say exactly how much tin and tungsten – a rare earth metal used in the manufacture of mobile phones – were on site or how big a future mine could be to exploit the valuable minerals, he insisted plans were more on the cards than ever to reopen Redmoor Mine.
If all goes well Redmoor Mine could reopen by 2021.
Strategic Minerals director Peter Wale
Mr Wale said: “We believe this heralds a new tin mining revolution in Cornwall, especially with South Crofty moving forward.
“Their owner, Strongbow, is shortly planning a UK listing on AIM which will help with awareness of projects in the South West.
“The sustained higher prices for tin and recent rebound in tungsten support the project’s economics.
“We expect solid demand for tin in particular going forward and there is an acknowledged supply deficit for at least the next five years.”
South Crofty in Pool was in the news earlier this year when it was revealed that vast deposits of a lithium, a precious metal used in batteries and dubbed ‘white petroleum’, could be extracted from deep underground in Cornwall, pushing the county to the forefront of a $70 billion (£53 billion) industrial revolution.
Private company Cornish Lithium, founded by Camborne School of Mines graduate Jeremy Wrathall, has been prospecting for the valuable mineral.
Mr Wrathall recently said an area amounting to a tenth of the size of Cornwall and centred between Camborne and Truro was at the centre of the exploration project to exploit the new wealth underground.
This is what tin looks like when it’s been mined out of the ground
Lithium, which is vital for rechargeable batteries in just about every device from phones to cars, could be extracted from the granite beneath Cornwall’s landscape, making it Europe’s only source of the valuable material.
Meanwhile Cornwall Resources said new holes will be drilled in December to give investors a clearer picture on Redmoor’s valuable resources and economic potential.
Some 200 highly-skilled mining jobs could be created once Redmoor Mine is back in action over 10 to 15 years depending on how much tin there is in the ground and how much prices fluctuate.
He told market investors and shareholders that drilling at Redmoor uncovered “continued successful high-grade tin and tungsten” as well as “improved grades compared to the previous positive results” and “improved confidence in the continuity of the high grade zones”.
Mining map of Cornwall and where the Redmoor Mine is located
Drilling is expected to be finished this year when a total of 20 holes will have been drilled.
The director of Cornwall Resources added: “These latest five holes at Redmoor have continued to build our confidence in the calibre of the resource potential for this project.
“The results reinforce our expectations for Redmoor to reach production and become an integral part of the renaissance in Cornish Mining, where we believe there to be significant potential.”
Source: Cornwall Live