The great renaissance of British mining is now more necessary than ever

Not such a lot a decision to “dig for victory” as a call to “dig for recovery”

Rising metal costs in 2020 associate degree early-2021 have introduced semiconductor diodes to the start of exploration and development activities everywhere the globe, together with several comes placed nearer to home than you may expect. at intervals the united kingdom at once there’s an incredible, sixteen companies, actively seeking to sought for metals and/or develop mines

These comes are during a vary of metals that may broadly speaking be separated into four main groups: speciality and base metals projects centred within the Southwest of European country (Figure 1) and North Wales (Figure 2); battery metals projects, that also are focused on Cornwall; precious metals projects focused in Northern Ireland and European country (Figure 2) and agri-minerals, settled in North Yorkshire.


Figure 1: Speciality and Base Metals comes (shown in blue) and Battery Metals comes (shown in green) within the Southwest


Figure 2: valuable comes (shown in yellow) and Agri-Mineral comes (shown in red) within the North

These developments are being developed at a vital time for the UK’s economy, which is plagued by rising state and spiralling national debt. whereas mining has an unquestionable impact on the immediate atmosphere around an orebody throughout the amount that the mine is operational, it’s a brief use of land. Rehabilitation management and conservation measures that may be taken before production even commences can even have a web positive impact on the native environment around a mine.

Mines also produce masterly and high-paying direct jobs and secondary indirect and provide chain jobs, likewise as providing the raw materials that are essential to each sector of our economy, whereas conjointly generating taxes and royalties for local, regional and national governments.

A well-regulated mining business will give a rustic with immense economic advantages from a comparatively tiny and temporary environmental footprint, so allow us to take a more in-depth examination of a number of these projects.

Speciality Metals

Tungsten West Limited (TWL)

Tungsten West Limited (TWL) is a United Kingdom private company that’s progressing to resume operations at the Hemerdon W-Tin Mine, settled in South Devon. The Hemerdon Mine, additionally called Drakelands was at one time operated by Wolf Minerals who went into receivership in 2018 when having endowed over £200 million into the project.

Tungsten West inherited the project in Gregorian calendar month 2019 for £10 million, and since the operation, the corporation has centred on gaining a bigger understanding of the geology and scientific discipline of the deposit to avoid the process plant problems faced by the previous operator. Following its initial assessment, the corporate believes that the ore sorting and therefore the face of the plant want redesigning and initial estimates recommend that this may cost around £40 million.

whereas the company has to complete further metallurgic and processing studies before the operation will resume, once it will W West is assured it’ll be at the lower end of the value curve and be ready to generate important levels of money flow for the company, that mean taxes for the government, similarly as high levels of employment for the native area.

Cornish Metals Inc (LON:CUSN)

Cornish Metals Inc (LON:CUSN) recently completed a twin listing on the AIM market, additionally to its TSX-V listing, raising £8.2 million. The corporate plans to use the funds raised to undertake a drilling programme at its United Downs Copper-Tin Project, located in Cornwall, to see the resource potential of a 1,000-metre-long target.

United Downs is found instantly adjacent to four former copper and tin manufacturing mines: Consolidated Mines and United Mines to the west; and Mount Wellington and wale Jane Mines to the east. Initial drilling of the world in April 2020 resulted within the discovery of recent zones of top-grade copper-tin mineralisation in a very antecedently unmined space between the historic United Mine and Consolidated Mines.

Additionally to the United Downs Project, Cornish Metals also owns the South Crofty Tin Project, situated getting ready for United Downs. South Crofty is one in every one of the highest-grade undeveloped tin resources globally with a protracted history of mining, from 1592 till the foremost recent operation stopped in 1998. The project has an energetic mine permit valid until 2071 and significantly designing permission to create a replacement method plant, still as Associate in Nursing environmental allow to dewater the mine. South Crofty might type a process hub for United Downs and an alternative comes at intervals of cheap transport distance.

Strategic Minerals PLC’s (LON:SML)

Strategic Minerals PLC’s (LON:SML) is developing the Redmoor Tungsten-Tin Project, located in northeastern Cornwall. The initial Redmoor Mine was first operated within the eighteenth century and continued till 1892 once it absolutely was forced to shut because of low tin prices, with operations resuming between 1907 ANd 1914 and once more in 1934.

Strategic Minerals completed a scoping study at the project in 2020, that came back a post-tax internal rate of come (IRR) of 28.6% and a post-tax web gift worth exploitation an 8% discount rate (NPV8) of US$128 million presumptuous a production rate of 600,000 tonnes per annum, over a possible mine lifetime of ten years. The corporation is presently assessing targets to the west of this resource estimate to extend the dimensions of the potential operation at Redmoor.

Cornish Tin Limited

Cornish Tin Limited could be a non-public exploration company centred on advancing the nice trauma Vor Copper-Tin Project, settled in Cornwall. Underground mining initially started at the nice trauma Vor Mine within the 15th-century and continued till 1715 manufacturing primarily copper. Operations resumed intermittently between 1854 and 1910 producing each copper and tin.

Cornish Tin has completed an intensive desktop analysis programme that has resulted in the definition of many exploration targets at intervals in the project area. These targets are related to the better-known lodes of the previous mines that supported historic mine plans.

Cornish Tin is designing a three-phase drilling programme to outline a mineral resource estimate at the project. section one is anticipated to start within the half-moon of 2021 (Q221), consisting of 30-40 comparatively shallow holes (7,500 metres).

Anglesey Mining PLC (LON:AYM)

Anglesey Mining PLC (LON:AYM) is advancing the Parys Mountain Copper-Zinc-Lead-Gold-Silver Project, based on the island of Anglesey in North Wales. A recently completed preliminary economic assessment at the project came back with a post-tax NPV10 of US$92.1 million and a post-tax IRR of 23.6%. The operation is expected to extract 11.5 million tonnes over a twelve-year mine life manufacturing zinc, copper, lead and gold concentrates.

Anglesey has known many areas for any improvement and can still value and optimise the choice cases and initiate the mandatory work to manoeuvre towards finishing a preliminary or a definitive practicability study.

Battery Metals

Cornish Lithium (PRIVATE:CORN)

Cornish Li (PRIVATE:CORN) may be a personal exploration company exploring for geothermic lithium brines inside the county to form a replacement high-tech, environmentally accountable mining business within the region. the corporation has the rights to probe for lithium over a massive space of 300km2, the biggest unified exploration effort ever conducted in Cornwall.

The company’s most advanced project at the United Downs geothermal Power Project is together with geothermal Engineering Ltd. The partners were recently awarded £4 million in funding from the United Kingdom Government’ ‘Getting Building Fund’ to make a pilot direct Li extraction plant at the United Downs website to extract lithium from the geothermal waters that flow naturally at depth within the granite rock that underlies Cornwall.

Cornish Li is additionally evaluating the potential for extracting lithium from a recently operational kaolin pit at Trelavour Downs, St Austell. In 2020 the corporation completed a 41-hole drill programme and intensive science testing, with success manufacturing nominal battery-grade lithium hydroxide. A second drill programme is currently afoot with 1,500 metres of diamond and 2,500 metres of reverse circulation drilling planned to supply a maiden mineral resource estimate. The corporation also plans to begin bulk science testing, furthermore because of the construction of a pilot plant at the project.

British Lithium Limited

British Lithium Limited is a private and Northern Ireland|kingdom} company developing the Cornish Lithium Project, placed in Roche, Cornwall. The corporation has completed 2 drilling programmes at the project and has created a big discovery of onerous rock lithium mineralisation from the surface.

The corporation commenced pilot grinding and screening of an 11-tonne bulk sample of Cornish Li-mica granite in Dec 2020. British Lithium is currently further developing its science laboratory in county with the addition of beneficiation, pyro-metallurgical and hydro-metallurgical instrumentation – a primary of its kind within the UK

Precious Metals

Scotgold Resources Limited (LON:SGZ)

Scotgold Resources Limited (LON:SGZ) is increasing production at its recently commissioned Cononish GoldSilver Mine in Scotland. The mine is projected to produce between 8,700 and 7,800 ounces of Au (gold)  in 2021 and has created more than 60 jobs. A fully funded expansion of operations is expected to be completed by May 2022, doubling production levels  to 23,500 ounces of gold per year.

Scotgold is also increasing its regional exploration program and is conducting additional data modelling on three targets near the mine to determine the best locations to test these targets in future drill programs.

Galantas Gold Corporation (LON:GAL)

Galantas Gold Corporation (LON:GAL) owns the Cavanacaw gold mine in Omagh, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. The former open pit operation has, after a long delay, received planning permission to resume mining  at the site through transition to an underground operation.

Approximately one kilometre of underground development has been completed to date and the Company is actively working with third parties on the financial arrangements required to resume and expand underground blasting.

Dalradian Gold

Dalradian Gold is a private company developing the Curraghinalt Gold Project, also located in Omagh, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. Dalradian has spent £130m in Northern Ireland since 2009 and has been seeking the necessary permits to dismantle the project since 2017.In 2020, Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon ordered a public inquiry into the  planning permission application and at this time the future of the project remains uncertain.

Koza Limited

Koza Limited is a private Turkish company that has an 80/20 joint venture with GreenOre Gold on its Aberdeenshire and Ayrshire gold projects in Scotland. a strike length of 5 kilometres (km) with four defined magnetic anomalies. Drilling has confirmed the presence of gold veins.

A follow-up exploration program is currently being planned for 2021, which will include  sampling and drilling of deep overburden. Work will begin once closure restrictions permit and permits are in place.

GreenOre Gold PLC

GreenOre Gold PLC is a private exploration company with interests in four projects in Scotland. Two projects are part of a joint venture with Koza Gold while one is part of a joint venture with Erris Gold Resources.

GreenOre Gold also owns 100% of the Kerry Road Gold deposit, located within the Gairloch Gold Project in north-west Scotland.More than 9,000 metres of drilling was completed on the project in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s which defined a  gold, copper and zinc rich horizon. GreenOre is confident that the deposit is now of economic interest and the surrounding area may contain further discoveries. metallurgical  ore testwork and will continue to test for additional mineralization along  trend.

Erris Gold Resources

Erris Gold Resources is a private exploration company that has the option to acquire up to 80% of the Loch Tay Gold Project in Perthshire, Scotland, with GreenOre Gold holding the remainder. Erris has received encouraging initial results from the Corrie Buidhe silver mine district and has discovered gold in the  old mine dump. In the Lead Trial Prospect, the Company has outlined an extensive area of ​​well developed quartz vein stockworks and  hydrothermal breccias that are located over a distance of at least 400 metres. A program of systematic soil sampling has begun aimed at connecting the two areas into a coherent main target area that extends over 3 km.

Western Gold Exploration (CVE:WGLD)

Western Gold Exploration (CVE:WGLD) is developing the Knapdale Gold Project, located 50 km south of Oban in western Scotland. a 15 km2 anomalous zone of gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc, arsenic, antimony, bismuth in drainage geochemistry and rock fragments extending southwest from the historic Stronchullin Gold Mine to the abandoned Abhainn Strathainn Copper Mine.

Deep overburden geochemical sampling has outlined four new anomalous zones of quartz-gold-silver vein mineralization on the Stronchullin and Gossan Burn prospects being tested in T221.

Conroy Gold and Natural Resources PLC (LON: CGNR)

Conroy Gold and Natural Resources PLC (LON: CGNR) are making progress at the Clay Lake Gold Project in County Down, Northern Ireland.Conroy  recently reinterpreted the geology of the Clay Lake project using  new geophysical data that has improved his understanding of the underground geology and gold mineralization in the area. The Company now believes it has identified parallel structures on the project that increase the potential for additional gold mineralization.

Exploration work on the project has already returned significant results from drilling (6.6 metres @ 6.2 g/t Au) and trenching (12 metres @ 2.2 g/t Au) and Conroy is now planning a follow-up drilling program for 2021.


Anglo American PLC (LON:AAL) 

Anglo American PLC (LON:AAL) is currently developing the 2.69 billion tonne Woodsmith polyhalite project in North Yorkshire. The aim is to complete a technical review of the project by mid-2021; Once in production, the mine is expected to operate for the next 100 years.


Today, mining accounts for a small proportion of UK gross domestic product, around 0.71% in 2020, but that is changing, as can be seen from the abundance of exploration and development companies operating in the UK area. When Anglo American’s Woodsmith Polyhalite project comes online, it is expected to create almost 2,000 direct and indirect jobs and generate around £200m in taxes a year for the government. Smaller projects such as Scotgold Resources’ Cononish mine are also contributing as around 60 jobs have been created.

With the current unemployment rate rising to 5.1% (October December 2020), the highest level in five years as a result of the COVID19 pandemic and Brexit, the potential importance of mining to our economy is increasing. Can Britain afford to delay projects like Dalradian Gold’s Curraghinalt gold project which could create 1,000 direct and indirect jobs and generate substantial taxes that will boost the UK economy at a time when we are seeing rising unemployment and a rising national debt? ?

Delays in projects such as Curraghinalt can also have a knock-on effect, causing investors and other exploration companies to stop investing in exploration and mining  projects in the UK.With a resurgence in metals and minerals exploration in the UK, now is the time for local and  national government to increase support and encourage the resurgence of the UK mining industry with further initiatives such as the UK Government’s ‘Getting Building Fund’.

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Rachel Buscall

Co-Founder & Managing Director at New Capital Link.

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