Reopening of tin mine could create hundreds of jobs

Credit: ITV News

The owners of a tin mine, that shut almost 20 years ago, say they'll create more than 250 new jobs and transform one of the poorest parts of Cornwall if it reopens in three years time.

South Crofty, between Camborne and Redruth, last produced tin in 1998 but beneath the surface are essential elements that go into the batteries that charge our mobile phones.

A new era in the county's tin mining fortunes could be beckoning with a new economic study saying that reopening South Crofty is a realistic goal.

Richard Williams, CEO of Strongbow Exploration Inc, said "When the mine does get into production if we get to that point it's about 250-270 jobs directly employed at the mine."

"There is a rule of thumb estimate in the business that for every direct job that is created there is another 3-4 jobs indirectly created in the local supply economy that would supply the mine."

Archive footage of South Crofty Mine Credit: ITV News

The Canadian based company that owns South Crofty says it hopes to be fully opened in 2020 and it has estimated that it'll cost around 120 million US Dollars to get the mine operational again.

There has been a huge increase in demand for tin and as a result the price of tin has of course gone up.

This is why it is looking increasingly more likely that South Crofty could reopen.

Part of the reason for the increase in demand are things like mobile phones, laptops, anything with an electrical circuit board which needs tin for soldering.

South Crofty Mine Credit: ITV News

There was a time when Cornwall and West Devon provided most of the UK with its tin.

In the 1800's the region provided essential materials for the Industrial Revolution but what many want is for Cornish mining to no longer just be a chapter in our history.

Professor Kip Jeffrey, Camborne School of Mines, said "A modern mine is not as labour intensive perhaps as in the heyday of the Cornish mining industry when there was maybe 30-50,000 people employed in it."

"What it would do though is really give people the view that this industry, which some may have assumed is history, is now showing signs of being rejuvenated and something that Cornwall would be very proud of."

When it comes to how many years South Crofty could be mined again, well the company has said that for now it believes 8 years, however, once the mine is working, it could be for much longer.