Cornish Tin has been granted permission by the King to search for gold and silver as part of a revival of Cornwall’s mining industry.
The company said the Crown Estate, the monarchy’s land holdings portfolio, has granted it exclusive exploration rights to search for the precious metals across 123,447 acres – or 14 per cent – of Cornwall for six years.
The county was historically a global leader in copper and tin production. The revival of its mining industry could boost employment in one of the UK’s most deprived regions.
Cornish Tin’s primary purpose is to look for lithium and tin, which are crucial in the shift to renewable energy and the production of mobile phone and electric car batteries.
The discovery of gold and silver would boost funds available for its projects.
The firm already has exploration and extraction rights to search for tin and lithium in a 3,900 acre zone within the larger area announced today, including its flagship Great Wheal Vor project in the historical mining district of Breage.
The UK imports all its tin and lithium and companies are scrambling to secure a domestic supply of the minerals.
Cornish Tin chief executive Sally Norcross-Webb said: ‘Our world is one of conflict and disruptions of supply chains of the critical minerals essential for British industry.
All the UK’s tin and lithium is imported and it’s crucial that the UK gets its secure supply’.
Rivals including Cornish Lithium, Cornish Metals, Imerys-British Lithium and Tungsten West are all focused on boosting the UK’s mining sector.
In August, Cornish Lithium secured £53.6million of investment from the UK Infrastructure Bank.
In June this year, meanwhile, British Lithium announced it has teamed up with French firm Imerys to open a mine in Cornwall which it says could extract enough lithium to power 500,000 electric cars by 2030.
Norcross-Webb, a mining and corporate finance lawyer, founded the company in 2017, making Cornish Tin a relatively new player in the burgeoning sector.
It is likely to be five years before it produces anything, with more fundraising and exploration on the agenda.
It has raised £2.8million and aims for £3million more to fund a second drilling programme next year.