25 Mar Cornwall’s rich mining and export potential is showcased to investors
Cornwall ’s mining investment and export potential has been showcased to global investors and already they are knocking on the door of what could be a new mining revolution in the Duchy.
Cornwall Trade and Investment, alongside the Department of International Trade, has been invited to attend the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada Convention in Toronto, the largest mining trade fair in the world with more than 2,500 stands and investors from 135 countries around the world, to highlight the Duchy’s mining sector and its future potential.
The Government has been keen to showcase Cornwall’s mineral wealth, technology and mining expertise as one of the UK’s High Potential Opportunities (HPO).
HPOs are part of the Government’s drive to attract more overseas investment and trade opportunities to the UK by demonstrating national sector strengths and skills to global investors.
The HPO means Cornwall’s abundance of high-technology metals and mineral deposits, including tin and silver, as well as geopolitically sensitive metals such as tungsten or lithium, are being promoted as a globally-significant resource with huge investment potential.
Glenn Caplin, chief executive of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Cornwall’s natural resources and mining expertise are among our defining characteristics and mining is a big growth opportunity.
“Global demand for new electronics and battery storage technology is driving exploration and Cornwall is well placed to help meet demand for ethically, environmentally and securely-sourced metals.”
Jeremy Wrathall, chief executive of Cornish Lithium, based at the Tremough Innovation Centre in Penryn, believes Cornwall’s time is now and having the Duchy’s potential showcased at the largest trade fair in the world can only be good for its longterm economy and lead to a renaissance of the mining sector.
“This is a recognition that there is enough metal in the ground to drive employment and contribute hugely to Cornwall’s economy,” he said.
“When Cornish mining shut down after the tin crash the county was shellshocked and suddenly Cornwall’s mining potential was written off with investors for such a long time.
“I don’t know why. I’ve travelled the world and I’ve always been mystified as to why Cornwall was always overlooked.”
Mr Wrathall believes new technologies have helped map out the county’s true potential and investors are now starting to come back.
“It is happening,” he said. “Cornwall’s time is now.” An important factor in the HPO designation is the region’s expertise, including the world-renowned Camborne School of Mines, a combined mining school and geoscience department that has been in existence for over 125 years.
I have travelled the world looking at mining projects and I’ve always been mystified as to why Cornwall was overlooked.
Jeremy Wrathall, CEO of Cornish Lithium
Cornwall’s rich mining history, spanning centuries of exploration, has also helped create a legacy of world-leading expertise, a strong skills base and highly-experienced supply chain to support any inward investment.
Nicola Lloyd, director of Cornwall Trade and Investment, said: “The recognition of the opportunities within Cornwall’s mining sector will provide significant opportunities to accelerate growth in the next generation of mining.”
Cornwall is also home to what could become the first commercial geothermal power plant in the UK at United Downs.
The last working tin mine in Cornwall, South Crofty, closed 21 years ago this week but recent years have seen a resumption of interest.
Canadian mineral exploration company Strongbow Exploration, which also attended the Toronto convention, acquired South Crofty in 2016 and is currently working to pump all water out of the mine with a view to start drill once more.
Meanwhile, the Australia-based resource company New Age Exploration is pursuing a tin and tungsten project at Redmoor in South East Cornwall in partnership with Strategic Minerals Plc with drilling results having exceeded all their expectations.
Darryn Quayle, mining engineer and specialist with the Department for International Trade, said: “Mining in Cornwall dates back to the bronze age and the area was once the mining capital of the world, producing more copper and tin than anywhere on the planet and helping to drive England’s Industrial Revolution.
“Extraordinary potential remains in the region with discoveries of lithium, cobalt and tin that position Cornwall perfectly as a major producer of strategic metals and minerals for the UK’s own industries and Europe.”