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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 June, 2003, 18:22 GMT 19:22 UK
Jobs fears laid to rest
Imerys quarry
Imerys is emphasising its environmental work
Cornwall's biggest private employer has ended concerns about its future by committing itself to the county for at least 40 years.

China clay company Imerys will invest 20m a year in Cornwall for the next 40 years.

The jobs of the firm's 2,000 employees in the county will be protected and many more will be created.

The company's new 'blueprint' ends the uncertainty created four years ago, when Imerys took over English China Clays, and 300 jobs were lost.

Ivor Bowditch of Imerys, said: "This industry is hugely important to Cornwall and it has many more decades ahead of it.

"The company is basically underwriting that future by saying 'We believe in the Cornish china clay industry.'.

"There are many good young people to be brought on board and the industry has a good long-term future."

Environmental action is also an important part of the plan.

Imerys is stemming pipeline leaks which have led to repeated prosecutions, filling in tips with waste rather than creating new dumps, and planting new heathland and woodland.

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