Mineral deposits at the South Crofty mining project could be world class according to the mine’s new chief operations officer (COO).
John Webster has been recruited by Western United Mines (WUM) to enhance the current exploration programme and ensure that the mine gets back into production within the next two years. A seasoned professional who has worked all over the world since graduating from Camborne School of Mines in 1980, Webster believes South Crofty has the potential to become an international centre of excellence.
“South Crofty is known for its tin but the truth is it is a polymetallic deposit rich in other metals as well – including copper, zinc and silver,” he said. “Our exploration and research is revealing a range of very different ore types – many of which have either not been touched since the 1920s or targeted by previous operators.”
Webster explained that WUM was focussing on developing a different style of resources’ management based upon production of a range of base metals. This would allow South Crofty to take advantage of fluctuating metal prices rather than being at the mercy of tin prices.
“By adopting a polymetallic approach, we can stay one step ahead. If the tin price goes down we will focus on alternative metal ratios in the deposit which range from high zinc and copper mineralisation in the higher levels to higher tin content in the deeper workings.
“We are also investigating the occurrence of other economic mineralisation – such as precious metals and lithium – and we will be developing research projects with the Camborne School of Mines on a number of these exciting opportunities.”
WUM chief executive Alan Shoesmith added: “John has worked all over the world and is just the person to take South Crofty back into production. The results that we are getting back from our exploration activities indicate that the mine is far richer in terms of both tin and other metal deposits than our original expectations. The future is looking very bright indeed and Cornwall will very soon become a world class base metal producer once more.”