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Search for Tin at Sea?

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Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 7:00am 2nd November 2012 (Updated 4:06pm 13th November 2012)

Pirate FM has learnt there could be a new gold rush in Cornwall - for tin.

A company has told us about plans to sift for underwater deposits off the north coast.

Marine Minerals says it would create up to a hundred new jobs.

It wants to search for waste, left over from the Duchy's historic mining industry.

Earlier this week South Crofty announced it thinks it has got deposits worth one and a half billion.

Chris Davies is from the company launching a year long study into how underwater tin deposits could be extracted without ruining the environtment. He said: "If we can get the tin onshore and process it and sell it, it's going to bring millions of pounds of investment into Cornwall. So that's why we're bothering to try to find out if we can bring the tin ashore in an environmentally and socially acceptable way.

"We're talking about up to a hundred jobs directly involved in the project. Then, of course, there are going to be jobs involved in servicing the vessels and providing the support services as well. The other important thing is these are going to be well paid, non-seasonal jobs. Just the sort of jobs Cornwall needs."

Nick Petitt is a mining geologist in Redruth. He is not surprised at the surge of interest in tin in the Duchy, as prices around the world soar. He said: "I think it's inevitable. The price of tin is such that the price of tin is inevitably going to restart in Cornwall.

"Half a percent of tin metal in your ore could be significant and enough to make you a lot of money. There's an awful lot of deposits in Cornwall that carry that amount of tin.

"Modern mining likes to be on a very large scale. Cornish mining tended to be on a much smaller scale. Modern mining will be much, much larger - more like china clay. I think it's inevitably going to start and, I would say, in the next five years."

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