Cornish Metals: tin-copper project ramps resource estimate
Cornish Metals has updated the resource estimate for its South Crofty project in Cornwall, UK. The Canadian junior, formerly known as Strongbow Explorations, has been working to re-open the mine which closed in 1998 following over 400 years of continuous production.
Additional sampling revealed the tin-copper mine to be 10% richer in indicated resources of tin for the lower mine to 2.08 million tonnes. The updated mineral resource estimate also showed a near 130% gain in inferred tin resources at the lower mine to 1.94 million tonnes.
Cornish Metals contributing to the green economy
“We are very pleased with the outcome of this new Mineral Resource Estimate, which shows a material increase in both tonnage and contained tin in the ground at South Crofty,” commented Richard Williams, CEO of Cornish Metals.
“Following on from our successful surface drilling campaign in 2020, where we intersected high-grade tin mineralisation below the historical workings, this new Mineral Resource Estimate confirms our belief in the resource expansion potential at South Crofty.”
“Coming at a time when governments around the world are increasingly focussed on reducing carbon emissions, enhancing security of supply of critical minerals, investing in technology and developing the green economy, this is a further demonstration that Cornwall has the potential to become a significant tin producer once again and make a valuable contribution to providing the responsibly sourced technology metals that we need to meet our climate change goals.”
Cornwall at the epicentre of the UK mining industry’s renaissance
The UK’s Department of International Trade (DIT) has identified Cornwall's mining sector as a High Potential Opportunity for investment, noting the ability to supply more than half of Britain’s lithium needs and other significant high technology metals.
Cornish Lithium has announced the completion of its geothermal water test site where it will trial direct lithium extraction (DLE) technologies at its lithium in hard rock Trelavour project.
Cornwall has the potential to supply two-thirds of Britain's lithium needs - the equivalent of one million electric vehicles per year, which will greatly assist in the government’s planned phase out of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030.
Darryn Quayle, Mining Engineer & Specialist at the Department for International Trade, commented: “Cornwall not only has the natural resources to meet growing demands for high technology metals, the world-leading mining expertise in the region offer easy access to international networks. As the UK moves towards net zero, Cornwall will be at the heart of the extraction of high-technology metals, growing our economy and establishing a secure and responsible UK supply chain.”
Cornish Metals – South Crofty project overview
Since acquiring the project in 2016, Cornish Metals has completed and published maiden NI 43-101 mineral resources for South Crofty using the vast archive of historical production data and more recent drilling completed between 2007 and 2013. In 2017, Cornish Metals completed a Preliminary Economic Assessment that demonstrated the economic viability of re-opening the mine.
- P&E Mining Consultants provided an initial MRE in 2016. Since then, additional sampling information has been audited, verified and added to the resource model leading to an updated MRE for the “Lower Mine” and a re-stated MRE for the “Upper Mine” using updated metal prices to calculate tin equivalent grades;
- The “Lower Mine” MRE is reported using a 0.6% tin (“Sn”) cut-off grade and the “Upper Mine” is reported using a 0.6% tin equivalent (“SnEq.”) cut-off grade, the same cut-off grades as the 2016 MRE;
- The MRE was prepared by Cornish Metals’ in-house geology team and independently reviewed and verified by Nicholas Szebor of AMC Consultants (UK) Ltd (“AMC”), who takes responsibility for the estimate;
- The “Lower Mine” contains tin mineralisation within quartz-tourmaline veins or “lode” structures, which are hosted entirely within granitic rocks;
- The “Upper Mine” contains tin, copper and zinc mineralisation within quartz-chlorite veins, predominantly hosted within meta-sedimentary units;
- AMC will prepare and file an updated NI 43-101 Technical Report within 45 days of this announcement; and
- The major lode structures that comprise the Mineral Resource remain open along strike and to depth.
Vale announces first ore at Voisey’s Bay mine extension
Vale has achieved first ore production at the Voisey’s Bay mine extension. Home to one of the largest nickel deposits in the world, Voisey’s Bay has been producing nickel from an open-pit operation since 2005. The transition to underground involves the development of two underground mines.
Reid Brook and Eastern Deeps are extending the life of Vale’s Labrador operations and achieving production of 40,000 tons of nickel in concentrate at a peak annual production rate of 2.6 million tonnes by 2025, with about 20,000 tonnes copper and 2,600 tonnes of cobalt as by-products. The project is 65% complete, with executed capital expenditures of $1.26bn and Eastern Deeps start-up is expected for 2022.
Voisey’s Bay is recognised as the safest mine in Canada
“Our Voisey’s Bay operations, and indeed our entire operating footprint in Newfoundland and Labrador, represent an incredible story of Indigenous participation, economic capacity building, environmental responsibility and safety performance,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale.
Voisey’s Bay Mine is a multiple winner of the John T. Ryan Award recognising the safest mine performance in Canada – receiving the honor again in 2021. Faced with the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19, the Mine Expansion Project followed suit, reaching first ore production with zero lost time injuries since construction began in 2018.
Indigenous workers are key to Vale’s success
Indigenous participation is a hallmark of the Voisey’s Bay operation, enjoying a collaborative relationship with its Indigenous partners, Innu Nation & Nunatsiavut Government, on whose traditional lands the Voisey’s Bay Complex is located.
Since the Voisey’s Bay mine expansion project began in 2018, Innu and Nunatsiavut Inuit employment has more than doubled to approximately 500 employees and 65% of all procurement contracts for the project were awarded to Indigenous-owned businesses. The ability to mine and process ore from underground will continue to generate local employment, procurement, capacity-building and shared benefit for many years to come.
Nickel, Copper & Cobalt
Ore produced at Voisey’s Bay is processed at Vale’s Long Harbour, one of the world’s lowest emission nickel processing plants. The sustainably-produced, responsibly sourced nickel, copper and cobalt products will help meet future customer demand in the electric vehicle and clean energy space as industry seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lower carbon footprints.
The production of first ore production at Voisey’s Bay represents Vale’s commitment to the continued delivery of quality, predictable and responsibly sourced material to market with safety, capacity-building and Indigenous participation at the forefront.