Mining company Cornish Metals has started the second phase of shaft refurbishment at its South Crofty mine project in the Duchy. The AIM-listed firm is working to revive production at the site which closed in 1998 after more than 400 years as an operating mine.

The Canadian-headquartered business said on Thursday (July 11) its work on the New Cook’s Kitchen (NCK) shaft was “progressing as planned” with the phase two work platform enabling faster replacement of old shaft timbers with new steel guides.

Owen Mihalop, chief operating officer of Cornish Metals, said: “Work continues to progress in-line with our adopted work plan and schedule that allows for NCK shaft refurbishment to continue in parallel with mine dewatering. The water treatment plant and the dewatering pumps continue to operate as designed.”

Cornish Metals said in the update to investors, that it was also “progressing discussions” for the sale of other non-core assets located outside of the UK. Last month, the company agreed a multimillion-pound deal to sell off one of its businesses in Canada.

The firm also said it expected to appoint a permanent chief executive in the third quarter of 2024. Former chief Richard Williams stepped down in March.

Ken Armstrong, interim chief executive and director of Cornish Metals, added: “The Cornish Metals team continues to progress our work plans, both on site and at the corporate level, as we maintain our focus on advancing the wholly owned and fully permitted South Crofty tin project, in the UK, towards project financing with the aim of commencing production in 2027.”

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Cornish Metals acquired South Crofty in 2016. In February, the business confirmed its drilling programme had discovered huge amounts of tin remaining in the historic Cornwall mine.

Ongoing project activities at South Crofty include refurbishment of the NCK mine shaft, mine dewatering, treatment of mine water through the water treatment plant and exploration drilling.