CAPE TOWN – Strongbow Exploration, the Canadian company that is seeking to revive tin production in Cornwall, southwest England, plans to list this year on London's Aim exchange for growing companies to raise development funding, its CEO said.
Cornwall historically was a mining hub for metals such as tin and copper and its South Crofty mine was the last tin mine to close in England in 1998.
Since then, CEO Richard Williams says the economics have been transformed as tin prices have rallied, climbing around 8 percent so far this year to nearly $22 000. That compares with roughly $5 000 when South Crofty closed and a peak of $33 600 recorded in 2011.
He linked the price gains to broad-based economic recovery, meaning higher demand for tin, which has multiple industrial uses, including in electronics.
The mood towards mining in Britain has also shifted and the government is keen for international investment to shore up a revived industrial base as the country grapples with leaving the European Union.
"We will list on Aim, hopefully this year," Williams told Reuters on the sidelines of a mining industry conference in Cape Town. "Aim likes projects that are close to production."
The Vancouver-based company already has a listing in Canada, known to favour small, adventurous mining stocks, often still at exploration stage.
Williams' Aim is to get production back in 2021, but first he needs to raise project financing of between $110-million and $120-million once a feasibility study is completed.
The mine has sufficient tin for at least eight years of mine life, Williams said, although industry sources say the high quality, super-giant lode could carry on producing for decades.
It also has a mineral rights agreement with British company Cornish Lithium, which means it will get royalties from any lithium extracted from brine springs in the area.