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Canadian miner Cornish Metals has announced the start of pump installation at its South Crofty Tin Project.

The first of two specialised submersible pumps has been installed at the site preceding the commencement of the mine’s draining. The 950kW pump will draw 2,000 cubic metres per day of water from the historic mine. The second pump is expected to be installed before the end of June.

The feasibility study for the mine is currently under way.

Stage one of the draining process will see the two submersible pumps drain the water down to 360m below the surface, where permanent pumps will be situated, before continuing further down to 700m below the surface in stage two.

The high-grade tin mine has been closed since 1998, but Cornish Metals has sought to revive the site, which had been running for over 400 years before its closure. The South Crofty Tin Project holds planning permission for all necessary infrastructure to keep the mine in working order, including a mine water treatment plant and on-site processing facilities.

Cornish metals CEO Richard Williams said of the process: “The commencement of dewatering [is] on track for later this summer. Good progress is also being made with many aspects of the feasibility study to examining the reopening of South Crofty. Initial results are very encouraging. The mine site team have also reached another important milestone with the installation of the first submersible pump into NCK shaft now under way.”

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By GlobalData

Cornish Metals has stated that the South Crofty mine has the fourth-highest grade of tin globally, which can be extracted from multiple shafts. Alongside this, Cornish Metals is exploring for tin across the county of Cornwall. The company has secured development rights for the United Downs project, another copper-tin mine, 8km east of South Crofty.

Tin has become more valuable recently with the announcement that one of the world’s largest tin producers is set to cease mining completely. With the global tin supply chain heavily reliant on tin from China and Myanmar, the UK has a chance to increase its standing in the mineral’s production. Currently no primary tin production takes place in Europe or North America.