Richard Williams, CEO of Cornish Metals, said: "It is wonderful to see the level of activity underway at South Crofty, as we progress through the construction of the water treatment plant, and undertake a metallurgical sample drill programme.
"We are now in an exciting period for the company and our stakeholders. It is inspiring to see the pride and dedication that our team displays, knowing that they are contributing to the success of a project that means a lot to the local community and a restart of the Cornish tin industry."
The water treatment plant (WTP) mentioned by William is on track for planned commissioning in June 2023. The current cost estimate for the WTP is between £6.5 and £7 million. The detailed design of is now 75% complete and the foundation slab for the it has been designed, the shuttering and steel reinforcement complete and concrete pouring has commenced. In addition, the treated water discharge duct from the WTP to the Middle Engine shaft is complete.
Six large steel clarifier tanks are being fabricated locally with delivery and installation expected to commence in December 2022.
Ongoing water treatment studies have further optimised the treatment process, resulting in a reduction in reagent consumption, an improvement to metal and suspended solids recovery, and an expected reduction in operating costs.
With regard to mine dewatering, the two submersible pumps purchased in 2018 have been checked and tested, both of which are in good working order. The pump installation into New Cooks Kitchen (NCK) shaft is planned to commence this month, with both pumps expected to be installed to approximately 370m depth below surface by the end of February 2023. Sections of the NCK shaft headframe have already been removed to prepare for pump installation into the shaft and pump and pipe handling infrastructure has been installed and tested.
All steel pipes required for pumping have been delivered to site and are ready for installation. While a new single drum winder has been ordered, for delivery in Q3 2023, to enable the NCK shaft re-accessing.
Further work on site includes three diamond drill rigs at the North Pool Zone (drilling from surface into the eastern section of the South Crofty mineral resource), No. 4 and No. 8 lodes (drilling from surface into the central section), and Roskear / Dolcoath areas (drilling from underground in the western decline into the western section).
Drilling to the North Pool Zone is nearing completion of the directional drilling phase, and sample collection for metallurgical testwork is expected this month. Multiple wedged drillholes have successfully drilled into No. 4 and No. 8 lodes, with intersects into No. 8 lode being wider than anticipated, meaning less drilling will be required for sample collection from this mineralised structure. Visually, drillholes into both structures display good cassiterite (tin) mineralisation. At current rates, completion of the drilling into No. 4 and No. 8 Lodes is expected before year-end.
The underground drill rig targeting the Roskear section of the mineral resource has completed the directional phase of drilling and samples are currently being collected for the metallurgical studies. Encouraging visible tin mineralisation has been encountered, in line with expectations for this area of the South Crofty mineral resource.
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