The Great Wheal Vor Community and Environment Group would like you to consider the implications of the last newsletter submitted by Cornish Tin who seek to portray their mining project as an important part of the ‘Fight against Climate Change’. The newsletter can be viewed on the Breage Parish Council website under “Latest News”.
Whether they are right about Cornwall having a part to play in the supply of critical minerals for the UK remains to be seen. A recent presentation at South Crofty clearly stated that in the absence of any smelting facility in the UK, any cassiterite recovered, would be sent to Indonesia for smelting - thus giving the lie to ‘securing a robust domestic supply for UK industry.’
Should Cornish Tin be considered part of any renaissance of Cornwall’s Industrial Heritage? So far it has developed poor relations with many in the local community around Wheal Vor where it has drilled a series of exploratory holes. It may wish to present itself as part of a movement which could supply plentiful work, but the reality is that these jobs would be short lived and leave an employment hole when the tin and lithium are no longer commercially viable and the mines are closed.
The contract Cornish Tin have negotiated with the Crown Estates is for five years only and serves more to boost their PR status than provide any meaningful advantage to the county. It should be noted that the King has no say in the decisions of the Crown Estates and we doubt he would support this initiative!
With regard to 100% sign up to land access agreements, Cornish Tin omit to mention those landowners who refused to allow access, causing them to shift their intended drill sites to areas where they already had access agreements. We applaud these landowners who took a stand to protect what is valuable to them, namely their land, their environment and the local rural amenity.
The planting of 75 trees in Ashton is a nice gesture to the local residents. However, please question the motive! It is a strategy by mining companies to win the hearts and minds of local people prior to damaging their environment. If you are skeptical about their motives in doing this, then we would suggest that your skepticism is well placed, as we wonder if they are planning to move into the Ashton area. There is mention of hard rock mining extraction of Lithium from the Tregonning Granite in their latest report to investors. We should all be worried at the devastating impact that this would have on this area which is designated of great landscape value.
Funding environmental charities is typical of mining companies to make it look as if they care about the environment. High visibility gestures such as these are to hide the invisible but devastating damage that their industrial scale mining will inflict on the local area.
It is difficult to take seriously the suggestion that geothermal energy might be used for a possible district heating scheme round our granite cottages. The practicalities of this are enormous and we would suggest that this is yet another PR effort to win hearts and minds.
The content of their newsletter is clearly intended to win favour with local residents, many of whom would really prefer that the community were left in peace. Our rural amenity is under threat from mineral rights owners, company shareholders and investors who mostly live remotely from this area. You are either for this mining or against it. If it is the latter, you need a voice and our group is working to provide that voice. Please visit our website at www.protectwhealvor.org and either join our GWVCEG or subscribe to our newsletters. Our only strength is in numbers. Subscriptions are free, Membership is £10 to cover insurance and administration costs.