A COMPANY hoping to mine for tin along the Cornish coast is dismissing claims that it will have an adverse impact on the environment or threaten popular surfing spots and marine habitats.
Marine Minerals Ltd has submitted exploratory drilling plans stretching from St Ives to Perranporth to extract tin from the seabed.The first public consultations, in conjunction with Marine Management Organisation (MMO), on the £15 million scheme ended today.
It was responding to concerns raised by Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) and Cornwall Wildlife Trust (CCT) who feared the drilling would disrupt premier surfing spots and threaten marine habitats and wildlife. CCT said the drilling posed certain risks, including loss of habitat and species, disturbance of contaminated sediments, and noise.It also called for reassurances that the cumulative impact of its application for a 21 year license are considered.
In a statement Marine Minserals Ltd stated: "Our method will not, unlike traditional dredging extend over vast areas of the seabed in a short time because we will be simultaneously back filling as we draw up the sand, while filtering out the tin onboard. We will return almost all of the sand back to where it came from. Compared to the effect of storm waves on this coast, our impact will be insignificant."
Its operation, it added, would be no closer than 200m to the shore and that there was no evidence to show that it would prove detrimental to the marine environment, wildlife or surfing. It said: "If there are specific problems, in specific locations, or at specific times, we will investigate ways to avoid, minimise or mitigate them. Such plans will be made public and will be open to scrutiny and consultation in our licence application, which we now expect to make early next year."