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VIDEO: Tin mining marine survey work along Cornish coast has started

By WBKatri  |  Posted: February 18, 2013

A crew recovering sand samples as part of Marine Minerals benthic survey operations.

Comments (15)

A COMPANY hoping to mine for tin along the Cornish coast has started investigating opportunities for the recovery of waste tin from the seabed.
On Friday Marine Minerals Ltd started the next stage of marine survey work which involves filming the seabed and collecting sand samples to examine the flora, fauna and marine life in the sand.
The company said the works will continue while the weather holds and that all the information will be the subject of several months laboratory work.
Also, Saturday saw the start of the vibrocore survey which is being carried out by the specialist 24 metre survey vessel called MV Flatholm.
This work involves collecting core samples of sand from beneath the seabed, which will primarily be used to assess more precisely the extent and characteristics of the tin deposits in the seabed sand.
The boat started in Perran Bay on Saturday and is currently working its way down the coast to St Ives Bay where, depending on weather, it anticipates completing the marine surveys in the next few days.
Talking about the survey work, John Sewell, commercial manager for Marine Minerals, said: "We have been lucky with the weather so far this weekend which has allowed us to make good progress with the surveys.
"In addition to the scientists and geologists who have been conducting and overseeing the survey operations, we have also invited members from local groups so that they can see first-hand the work we are doing.
"We are acutely aware of a number of sensitive issues that need to be considered and so are pleased that we were joined by the chairman of Hayle Harbour Advisory Committee, John Bennett and Hayle town councillor, Harry Blakeley.  Today a representative from the St. Agnes Quay Fishermen's Association will be joining us on the boat."
The company said today however that it was unlikely that the firm was able to do further survey work today due to the wind.

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  • poldice  |  February 20 2013, 11:03AM

    Surfers like to cultivate an image of wholesomness as earnest communicants with nature leading a bronzed and healthy lifestyle which is very good PR which certainly got SAS into the mainstream where intially they did sterling work by really kicking SWW into touch. However like many environmentaly skewed organisations they have ended up hijacked by empire building politically correct lefty leaning lentil weavers with surfing degrees who ride bandwagons rather than surfboards for a living. The fact of the matter is currently there are just too many surfers who infest any beach subject to the merest ripple of a wave to the detriment of those who perhaps wish to just fish for Bass or take a simple dip without being intimidated by endless flotillas of thoughtless noprene clad louts on surfboards who hog the water. There was quite extensive tin dredging off Gwithian in the 1970's to no discenible ill effect so there is a precedent on which to judge the merits of this scheme against, any real work that has minimal impact should be welcomed and encouraged not thwarted at every turn.

  • BlueSkyGrif  |  February 20 2013, 9:28AM

    The licence would be only for up to 21 years. So making a statement that it would create long term sustainable jobs is a myth. What happens after it's mined and the company clear off? Cornwall would be in a worse state than before. Look into long term solutions. The tourism industry is worth millions every year to Cornwall. And statements that tourism is all low paid is another myth.

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  • Big_Ger  |  February 20 2013, 8:14AM

    "paying real wages for all year round jobs" "The company said today however that it was unlikely that the firm was able to do further survey work today due to the wind."

  • shagrats  |  February 19 2013, 10:44AM

    Why dont they collect the sand and make an artificial reef or a series of them this would then be a boost to the Surfing industry in Cornwall. Your doing 1/2 the work by making the dredging anyway.

  • josdave  |  February 19 2013, 8:57AM

    One thing most residents in Cornwall want to see is some form of real industry, not more seasonal low paid part time tourist posts, paying real wages for all year round jobs. Then maybe, just maybe, the youngsters of this county will have a real chance of owning their own homes something they won't get working in tourism.

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  • BlueSkyGrif  |  February 18 2013, 6:39PM

    Trust someone to bring up points that have nothing to do with whats actually happening. Bringing mining back this way will put Cornwall back deep in the last century. As I stated before bringing some jobs and a lot of potential destruction is not the way forward. This crazy activity should stop now!

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  • Dantwo  |  February 18 2013, 5:36PM

    Who says 'the conservation lobby' supports bird mincers and solar farms? Real conservationists saw through that one years ago. Sadly wind turbines and solar farms are both the product of government policy that pays a huge (even now) feed-in-tariff to developers and sod the consequences (fuel poverty etc.). The same goes for this operation - it is all about profit and the environment can go to hell. It's certainly not, as with the £28Million Cornish rate-payer funded Falmouth dredging, anything to do with creating jobs. It's about a few people making a large amount of money. The 'marine survey' work now being carried out, is the PR/spin side of the business. We'll both see and hear what they deem appropriate and nothing more.

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  • TheGeofflane  |  February 18 2013, 5:35PM

    The North Coast won't have changed one iota. The dredger sucks up the sand, the (heavy) tin is immediately removed and the sand returned to the bottom from where it came. Could 'Bennett and Blakeley' tell us of the damage caused by bottom fishing? Of course Newquay has changed a lot. When I visited, yearly, as a child, there was no vomit in the streets, certainly no urine. And no needles. No one screamed their head off at 4.am. and it was safe to walk home from the pub at closing time. Tin dredging brings some work and little or no disruption. Look what 'surfing' has done to Cornwall! Money for some, misery for many.

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  • BlueSkyGrif  |  February 18 2013, 3:23PM

    If this is approved they they would get a licence for up to 21 years. What happens after? Has anyone thought of that? The North Coast will have changed, the supposed 100+ jobs would be gone and this part of Cornwall would have to pick up the pieces again. Who would have won... The owners and shareholders, who would have lost the whole of Cornwall. This is not a long term solution. I've already heard of one company who were about to open a Scuba Diving Company say that they will not move forward until they know what is happening with MML. If it's approved their gone. The potential job losses are real. More potentially will be lost, than ever will be created. Job's and destruction at any cost is not the way forward with this. Great to hear a person actually stand up and put the right message across on BBC radio Cornwall this afternoon.

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  • niknak100  |  February 18 2013, 2:06PM

    The conservation lobby need to get their campaigns in line if they want any credibility for their objections. First, they oppose this mining/dredging because of its 'impact on the landscape'. Yet they don't object to the impact on the landscape caused by turbines and solar panels. Secondly, they say there will be a negative effect to tourism. Won't tourist expect to see ships, bats etc. working the coast? Tourists come for our scenery, again the turbines and solar farms are a threat. As for jumping on the pro-tourism bandwagon, the same conservationists oppose dredging in Falmouth aimed at allowing more cruise ships therefore more tourism. How do they think that one dredger, cleaning up the spoils of our past industry is going to lose 16000 jobs in tourism as expressed by their spokseman on Radio Cornwall today? Get a grip people, the dredger will cause less disruption to the seabed than one darn good south-westerly storm. Who knows, tourists might even like to see Cornwall's modern tin mining? We're tired of the green lobby constantly whinging at anything, when they themselves encourage the widespread desecration of our landscape and seascape with turbines, barrages, solar panels, wave generators etc etc.

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