HISTORIC mining areas in East Cornwall could once again prosper with promising signs for tin, tungsten and copper in the region.

Cornwall Resources Limited (CRL) has been carrying out exploratory and scoping work in the Redmoor area since 2017 and plans to take this project forward.

Meanwhile, the Duchy of Cornwall has recently granted CRL exploration rights in parts of the parishes of Calstock, Linkinhorne and Stoke Climsland.

Work in these places is in the very early stages and has been mostly limited to desktop study, with some initial field work and rock samples being taken.

Recent discovery of mineralised zones at surface in Calstock have been very encouraging, said project manager Dennis Rowland. So far, one specific site west of St Ann’s Chapel has been identified.

Follow up with extensive soil and stream sediment sampling is now planned.

A good deal of exploration work needs to be carried out before even the idea of opening a mine can be considered, Mr Rowland explained.

But should it prove viable, a mine either at Redmoor or one of the other satellite sites would create some 200 direct jobs, many of which would be underground.

Mining in East Cornwall fell almost completely silent in the 1930s, with some small operations continuing into the 1970s. 

Today’s mines are vastly different to those of 100 years ago, and while miners still descend beneath the earth, work is much more mechanised and much of the processing takes place underground, with the result that there is much less to see above the surface.

Historic mining tapped into lodes which were followed as far as feasible under the ground.

Today it’s possible to target as yet un-mined sheet vein systems – where metals are spread in varying concentration throughout stacked veins of crystallised minerals.

Addressing a meeting of Calstock Parish Council, Mr Rowland spoke to the concerns of council members.

Stressing that any potential mine would be a very long way off yet, he said: “Things such as the visual aspect, transportation, noise regulations and where the workers would be based all have to be worked through as part of the feasibility study and planning permission.

“We are not a quarrying operation so we don’t require tens of trucks a day to remove product.”

A spokesperson for Calstock Parish Council said: “We were pleased to welcome Mr Rowland to talk about the Cornwall Resources Ltd plans.   

“The environmental impact remains the biggest concern of councillors, but an increase in local employment is welcomed.”

In a note to shareholders, CRL director Peter Wale said: “Initial work on the Tamar Valley License area has been very encouraging. Plans for stream sediment and soil sampling are underway as well as work on the highly prospective Plantation Vein.

“Project economics have been bolstered by recent rises in tin, tungsten and copper prices. We look forward to updating the market on the results from re-examination of the existing cores (from Redmoor) and findings in relation to the Tamar Valley License area.”