Full production returning to South Crofty mine has taken a major step forward following formal completion of contracts between Cornwall Council and the mine’s owner Western United Mines (WUM).
After more than a year since exchange of contracts, the deal completion represents a milestone in South Crofty’s progress towards production, which could now be less than three years away.
The former surface mine buildings at Dudnance Lane will be demolished and plans for a new ore concentrator (mill building), miners’ dry, workshops and offices adjacent to the Tuckingmill Decline – the modern entrance to the sub-surface mine – can now be progressed.
As part of the deal, Cornwall Council can also press ahead with a new road link and progress the regeneration opportunities that the land re-arrangements are likely to bring forward .
The results are very, very encouraging – paving the way for mine production, now envisaged for early 2015
WUM chief executive Alan Shoesmith said: “Completion of these agreements is the result of unprecedented private/public sector collaboration and hugely exciting for all parties concerned.
“We can now focus on the creation of a 21st century mine with the benefit of a fully viable surface mine site whilst the local community can look forward to enjoying the many economic benefits that these developments will bring – both regionally and beyond.
“Whilst these contractual arrangements have been progressing, our mining teams have been working 24 hours a day, drilling core samples and sending them off for analysis. The results are very, very encouraging – paving the way for mine production, now envisaged for early 2015.”
To date, in excess of £17 million has been invested in South Crofty since Baseresult Holdings Limited purchased the Mine in 2001. In November 2011, Canada-based Celeste Copper Corporation acquired an initial 19% interest in the project, with options to earn a greater interest by further investment. 48 people are currently employed at the mine site – with that number expected to increase to over 200 by the time production commences.
Chris Ridgers, the Council’s portfolio holder for economy and regeneration, added: “We are delighted with this latest development at South Crofty which is a major part of the wider regeneration opportunities around the Camborne, Pool and Redruth area.
“As well as enabling WUM to progress their long-term mining aspirations, this will lead to excellent job creation for Cornwall. The land vacated by the current surface mining operations is key to high quality commercial and residential opportunities in the area and we look forward to continuing to work with the private sector to ensure the potential economic benefits are realised.”