Cornish hits new, high-grade copper mineralization

Cornwall’s mining heritage dates back to the Bronze Age, when it was discovered that incorporating small amounts of tin into copper made it easier to work than pure copper. (Image courtesy of Cornish Lithium.)

Cornish Lithium, a start-up hoping to lead the development of a battery metals industry in the UK, has hit the jackpot with the discovery of a new zone of high-grade copper-tin mineralization at Strongbow Exploration’s (TSX-V: SBW) United Downs project, in Cornwall.

The finding comes as the British miner continues to explore Strongbow’s licences in Cornwall, south-west England, for lithium in brine occurrences. Rights to any hard rock mineralization, however, belongs to the Canadian company.

“It’s the kind of result that has geologists jumping up and down,” John Meyer, head of research at London-based broker SP Angel, said.

The mining district where the discovery was made — Gwennap — was the world’s richest copper production in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Mining district where the discovery was made — Gwennap — was the world’s richest copper production in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries

Cornwall’s last mining operation, South Crofty, closed in 1998. But in July 2016, Vancouver-based Strongbow acquired the copper-tin project and mineral rights for 15,000 hectares.

Partner Cornish Lithium’s drilling in the area intersected semi-massive sulphide mineralization, at a depth of between 90 and 105 metres.

The company is drilling further to confirm the width of the mineralization as well as the strike and dip of the mineralised zone.

In an upcoming exploration phase, Cornish Lithium has decided to also begin exploring for lithium in hard rock form, having discovered evidence that it was mined on the surface during World War II.

The miner also plans to explore for other battery metals, such as cobalt and copper.

The junior revealed in 2018 that it needed about £5 million ($6.2m) to go ahead with its plans. Since then, it has secured more than £2m ($2.5m) from private backers and it’s already aiming at listing on the London Stock Exchange by 2022.. 

Cornish Lithium has also expanded and consolidated the areas over which it has rights to explore for lithium and other minerals. Its team has assembled a vast amount of historical data and reconstructed it in 3D digital format, enabling a totally new understanding of the geological potential of Cornwall’s mineral deposits.

Most lithium is produced in South America, Australia and China, but the UK government designated it last year a metal of strategic importance to the country.