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Surfing Fears Over Tin Mining Plans

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Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 11:23am 6th February 2013. (Updated at 2:46pm 6th February 2013)

Cornwall's famous surfing spots could be in danger if plans to hunt for tin underwater go ahead.

That is according to campaigners who are worried it will mean sandbanks are moved.

Cornish company Marine Minerals want to recover the metal from the seabed off the North Cornwall Coast.

Andy Cummins, Campaigns Director at St Agnes-based Surfers Against Sewage, said:

"We're calling for a lot more investigation into these potential impacts then we can make a position on that. But from all our experience, we think that this has the potential to have devastating impacts for the North Cornwall Coast.

"There's a lot of flora and fauna, a lot of the wildlife on the seabed. It's just going to get sucked up and pressed through a very small sieve, so it's just going to die unfortunately."

Marine Minerals said only a small amount of sand would be moved no decision had been taken to go ahead.

It is conducting a year-long study to assess the environmental impact any work would have.

Chris Davies, Spokesman for Marine Minerals, said: "Traditional dredging is out. We're looking at filtering the tin from the sand at sea and replacing that sand immediately straight back on the sea bed, to really minimise any detrimental effect.

"We're absolutely clear that the project can only go ahead if it's not only financially viable, but also environmentally and socially acceptable as well. But the potential resource that's there, the potential for Cornwall, is so valuable, we think it's worth looking."

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