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Last Updated: Friday, 20 October 2006, 08:03 GMT 09:03 UK
Tin mine re-opening hopes dashed
Crofty
South Crofty closed as a working tin mine in 1998
Time has finally run out for the company that has been trying to restart tin mining in Cornwall.

The South West Regional Development Authority (RDA) is to compulsorily purchase South Crofty tin mine.

The last working tin mine in Europe was closed in 1998 and bought in 2001 by mining firm Baseresult Holdings.

But promises of restarting the mine have not materialised and the RDA now wants to redevelop the site. Baseresult said it would fight the decision.

The decision is a very positive step for the whole area
Nick Buckland

When South Crofty closed it ended a 3,000-year-old tin mining tradition in Cornwall.

Baseresult said after it bought South Crofty that it would be mining tin within two years, working towards a workforce of 200 people.

But from the start there was official scepticism and the RDA and other regeneration agencies doubted Baseresult could succeed.

Tin miner
There were 340 tin mines in Cornwall at the industry's peak
Even the Camborne, Pool and Redruth Urban Regeneration Company suggested tin mining was not the sort of industry a modern county needed.

But early talk of compulsory purchase aroused some local anger and the agencies backed off.

Finally their patience has run out and it is being announced on Friday that the RDA will lead compulsory purchase of 147 acres at Pool, including the mine.

Nick Buckland, deputy chairman of the RDA, said the land would be redeveloped with a mixture of leisure and industrial use as well as housing.

He said: "The decision is a very positive step for the whole area.

"We will be delivering up to 2,000 new jobs and 600 new homes.

"This land is essential for regeneration."

We have to grasp this opportunity to move this area forward
Mark Kazcmarek, former South Crofty miner
The mine workings would be protected so that tin mining could resume if it became economically viable.

When the mine closed, it was producing a relatively small 2,100 tonnes of tin per year.

Mark Kazcmarek, a former South Crofty tin miner and a county councillor, said: "We have listened to Baseresult's promises and we supported them.

"But we are eight years down and now the time has come for change.

"We have to grasp this opportunity to move this area forward."

Baseresult said the company would be fighting the decision, but declined to comment any further.




SEE ALSO
Reopening of tin mine is approved
07 Sep 06 |  Cornwall
Heritage site bid gets go-ahead
13 Jul 06 |  Cornwall
Leaflet campaign for mine support
22 Jun 06 |  Cornwall

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