An international delegation of ministries and businesses have met with the University of Exeter and members of the south west’s critical minerals cluster to discuss opportunities in the emerging geo-resources sector.

Representatives from countries including Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Uzbekistan and Turkey were introduced to Camborne School of Mines and exploration companies based in the region as part of a fact-finding and familiarisation tour.

It also offered local companies the opportunity to network with key industry players and to learn about market access processes in eastern Europe and central Asia.

The event was organised by the UK Government’s Department for Business and Trade and was held by the geo-resources strategic sector strengthening project at the university’s Penryn Campus.

Professor Martin Siegert, VP and deputy vice-chancellor (Cornwall), said: “If we are to achieve the net zero targets that we have set, then the only realistic way of doing that is to ‘electrify’ our way of life.

“For that, we need metal in our power supplies, processors and batteries, and one of the only places in the UK that has significant metal resources is Cornwall.

“Through Camborne School of Mines, we have a key role to play in the sustainable development of this sector, including through our research and innovation, and knowledge exchange. And events like this really do succeed in bringing together a plethora of stakeholders to explore future opportunities.”

Professor Pat Foster, head of Camborne School of Mines, added: “This visit, along with several others that we have hosted recently from countries including Brazil, South Africa and Canada, demonstrates the international standing of CSM and its reputation with regards to critical metals. It also speaks volumes for the once-in-a-generation opportunity that we have to promote the sector and the role it will play in the transition to greener, cleaner energy.”