Nenthead used to have a mine, but it was closed and turned into a museum.
The new plans have attracted some criticism because of the impact on the local environment, but the company behind the plans have been quick to point out that current mines are significantly cleaner than mines used to be.
They have also warned that the vast majority of exploration works do not lead on to mines being opened, but have said they won't know for certain until more boreholes are drilled.
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The leader of Cumbria County Council says it will need to make further cuts, and that frontline services will be in the firing line.