Rights Sought for Seabed Mining Off Cornish Coast

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The Crown Estate has advised that it is considering awarding seabed rights to allow for the exploration of tin deposits off the coast of Cornwall.

Cornwall has a tin mining history which stretches back hundreds of years, with the last active mine closing in the late 1990s. Due to natural geological processes, tin deposits may exist under the seabed in locations and concentrations that could now potentially be commercially extracted.

The seabed rights that may be granted relate to exploration for tin deposits in a specific geographic area of the seabed off the south coast of Cornwall, in an area between Dodman Point and Lansallos, primarily around St Austell Bay.

The rights granted would not amount to permission to carry out extraction activity, which would require in addition to a lease, statutory consent from the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), including a full environmental impact assessment and public consultation.

Ian Selby, The Crown Estate’s Head of Minerals and Infrastructure, said: “At present, it is not known if there are tin deposits off the coast of Cornwall. The rights that may be granted by The Crown Estate on an exclusive basis would only enable exploration for tin in a specific geographic area. Should this exploration identify tin, permission would then need to be sought from The Crown Estate to carry out any extraction activity, alongside statutory consent from the relevant planning authority, and subject to appropriate public consultation.”

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