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Tin Mining At Sea Off Cornwall

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7:01am 16th February 2013

Surveying has started as part of controversial plans to mine the Cornish seabed for tin.

Marine Minerals is taking samples of sand between St Ives and Perranporth.

It is as the company tries to get a licence for a permanent mining operation.

Campaigners say, if it goes ahead, dredging will hit marine life and release pollutants.

Andy Cummins from St Agnes based Surfers Against Sewage said it could be devastating: "These sandbanks are a very valuable coastal defence. They dissipate wave energy way out to sea so the shoreline's protected. Secondly, surfing brings in £64 million into Cornwall and supports 1600 jobs all year round. It's dependent on these offshore sandbanks to produce really good waves.

"Thirdly, let's look at the bucket and spade holidays. It could have a real impact on sand levels on beaches and potentially even rocks replacing the beautiful sand that we have, We can go on to talk about re-animating pollutants or the devastation to all marine life that's currently on the sea bottom. There's a whole host of concerns."

Marine Minerals has said tin mining off our coast could be worth £10,000,000 to Cornwall.

Spokesman Chris Davies said: "We're looking at filtering the tin from the sand at sea, and replacing that sand immediately straight back on the seabed, to really minimise any detrimental effect. Obviously, in order to study that we need to really understand what's going on.

"We have been already talking to organisations like Surfers Against Sewage, like Save Our Sands in Hayle, to the RSPB, so that we can really understand what might be possible, to recover what would be a very valuable resource for Cornwall."

7:01am 16th February 2013

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