VAANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – Bolstered by strengthening tin prices and improving fundamental support in the long term, Canadian mineral exploration firm Strongbow Exploration is set to revive a mining tradition in England’s county of Cornwall, that reaches back thousands of years to the early Bronze Age.
The company’s flagship asset, the South Crofty project, is a past-producing underground tin/copper mine, located in the town of Pool, in the historic Cornwall tin mining district of south-west England. The project is located 390 km west-southwest of London, and is about 4.5 km south of the Celtic sea coast.
The Cornish mining industry, which started about 2150 BCE, reached its peak in the nineteenth century, when thousands of workers were employed in up to 2 000 mines, before the industry collapsed when ores began to be produced more cheaply abroad in Malaysia and Indonesia, among others, Strongbow president and CEO Richard Williams tells Mining Weekly Online in an interview.
The resulting slump in tin prices was pushed over the edge following the collapse of the International Tin Agreement in 1985 (complex agreements between producer countries and consumer countries regulating the supply and price of tin dating back to 1921), and in the late 1970s and early 1980s, by the US government aggressively selling off its strategic tin stockpile, forcing all Cornwall’s tin mines to shutter between 1985 and 1998.
Strongbow’s flagship asset, the South Crofty mine, was the last to close in 1998. “South Crofty survived the last 13 years of its operating life in an extremely difficult price environment, attesting to the high grades of the deposit,” Williams says.
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