Strategic investment injected into the heart of Cornwall
This March, Cornish Metals announced it had received investment of £25 million from Vision Blue Resources (“VBR”), a vehicle founded by the former chief executive of Xstrata , Sir Mick Davis. The Company also said that it would be raising £15.5 million by a private placing to existing and new investors, bringing the total value of the raise to £40.5 million.
The capital will be used to redevelop the Company’s fully permitted South Crofty tin mine, in Cornwall, UK that, up until 1998, was a producing, high-grade, underground tin mine. The investment coincides with an increasingly strong tin market as demand for the metal increases due to its use in electronics, EVs and renewable power, especially solar cells. The demand is not being met with the same growth of supply however, especially in Europe: in fact, once in operation, South Crofty will be the only primary tin mine in Europe and North America.
The need to bring such an important operation online is what led to Sir Mick’s investment, who said that “VBR was founded to accelerate the responsible supply of commodities necessary to facilitate the transition to clean, green energy”.
Having an operating tin mine, particularly of South Crofty’s quality (the Project has one of the highest grade tin Mineral Resources in the world not currently in production), located in the UK will ensure domestic security of supply that can fulfil the nation’s requirements and help to reach de-carbonisation targets. Cornwall’s historic mining areas have, in recent years, experienced a decline in employment and economic prosperity; the mine can make a “significant contribution to the local and UK economies, with the potential to create up to 1,000 direct and indirect jobs” said Richard Williams, CEO of Cornish Metals.
Along with SP Angel and Hannam & Partners, BlytheRay were advisors on the transaction and ensured the story was seen by readers of: Financial Times, The Times, The Telegraph and Daily Mail. Reporting for The Telegraph, Rachel Millard said that the investment “is part of an emerging revival of mining in Cornwall”, whilst The Financial Time’s Neil Hume said the Company’s focus on South Crofty coincided at a time of a “huge tin rally as supply disruptions during the pandemic, rising demand for electronics and manufacturing-driven buying frenzy drained physical stocks of the commodity”. Quoting Mick Davis, Emily Gosden of The Times drew attention to the fact that reopening a mine within the existing footprint “meant environmental and other impacts could be minimised”.
Cornish Metals said that the proceeds will go towards dewatering of the mine, resource drilling, completion of a feasibility study, evaluation of further downstream beneficiation opportunities, and on-site early works in advance of a potential construction decision. To keep up to date with the Company’s announcements, follow BlytheRay’s twitter: @BlytheRayPR.