Mining in the UK and Ireland is well and truly alive – by Joshua Warner (IG Group Limited – August 15, 2018)

Joshua Warner is a London, U.K. Market Analyst.

The mining industry in the UK and Ireland may be past its prime, but there are still a number of new and revitalised mines being developed, both big and small. The coal pits may have closed and the industry we once knew may have gone, but mining remains well and truly alive.

‘If you can’t grow it, it has to be mined,’ – an old mining truism.

The UK and Ireland have a rich history of mining. The industrial revolution was fuelled by vast deposits of coal and iron and when underground mining was at its peak between the middle of the 19th century until the early part of the 20th century the UK was not only self-sufficient in many minerals and metals but also a world-leading producer of several crucial materials.

Over 35 different commodities have been extracted from the UK, with the mining industry resonating with several regions, including but not limited to, tin and copper in Cornwall and West Devon, ochre and iron ore in the Forest of Dean, and limestone in Staffordshire.

But as low-cost competition began to emerge from countries around the world and the cost of extraction began to rise, the UK’s mining scene slowly began to falter, with many seeing the closure of the country’s last deep coal mine in 2015 as the end of the UK’s mining industry.

However, with new technology making old deposits attractive once again and demand shifting toward the new-age metals needed to power the likes of energy storage and electric vehicles, the industry is starting to see a revival.

With geopolitical tensions rising amid international trade wars and the UK about to step out into the world on its own after Brexit, those digging for crucial minerals and metals could become vital for the country in the coming years and are an opportunity for the UK to secure exposure to important supply chains of growing markets.

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