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SMALL CAP IDEA: Cornish Tin has reassuring start to flagship project

Renaissance: many Cornish locals have become enthusiastic about the apparent ongoing renaissance of pewter, one of their most traditional industries

“We are very encouraged,” says Sally Norcross-Webb of Cornish Tin, as an intense drilling campaign on the Wheal Vor project in Cornwall comes to a halt to allow the effects of recent heavy rains to dissipate.

The ground conditions are not ideal for the rigs at the moment and Norcross-Webb is also aware of Cornish Tin’s social license and does not want to turn the ground over unnecessarily.

After all, the company has already done a substantial amount of drilling since rolling back the rigs in April this year and, with the award of an additional permit in September, it has everything it needs. needs to restart once the data that accumulated so far has been assimilated.

Renaissance: many Cornish locals have become enthusiastic about the apparent ongoing renaissance of pewter, one of their most traditional industries

Renaissance: many Cornish locals have become enthusiastic about the apparent ongoing renaissance of pewter, one of their most traditional industries

At this point, nineteen holes have been drilled on the first cleared area and three on the second. Another 23 holes are already authorized in the two areas, and it is expected that next year additional drilling permits will be applied for and granted.

The exact destination of these applications remains an open question.

So far Cornish Tin has obtained results from three of the holes drilled. The results of the rest will largely determine the shape of the exploration program for 2023, but there are already pointers.

First of all, the ratings of the three holes that are back are very good.

Highlights included 1.4 meters at 0.82% tin, four meters at 1.08% tin and 5.72 meters at 0.52% tin. Within these intersections themselves are higher grade zones, peaking at over 5.5% tin at one point.

And while these intercepts are pretty narrow, they show that the company is on the right track.

“We’re seeing the kind of thing we want to see,” Norcross-Webb says.

“We were looking for new targets and expansions of existing targets, and we found both. We discovered a new tin vein (Hichens vein) with mineralization evident in hole number two, where there was visible cassiterite. Once we had it XRF-ed, we went back to hole one, and we saw continuity.

It’s a smart team of young geologists that Norcross-Webb has on the ground – many of them local – and they clearly have the bit between their teeth.

Once further tests arrive from ALS laboratories in Ireland, the idea is that Cornish Tin will formulate a list of priority targets for a second phase of drilling.

The data generated by the drilling will be underpinned by a new series of gravity and soil geochemistry surveys which should allow a restart of drilling in early 2023.

“Phase two will take us to the first step of measuring the resource,” says Norcross-Webb.

In due course, however, new funds will inevitably be needed to continue the work.

Cornish Tin has “enough to feel good about” at the moment, says Norcross-Webb, and she points out that the business is run on a fairly light basis, with almost all the money spent underground.

A year ago, the initial fundraising for Cornish Tin brought in £2.8million from sophisticated mining types from Norcross-Webb and company chairman Clive Newall.

Between them, they have a deep network of connections that have helped build a share register that could be the envy of any large publicly traded company.

What was perhaps more notable, however, was the company’s use of crowdfunding platform Crowdcube, which raised £900,000 of the total raise.

Much of that money came from local Cornish people excited about the apparent renaissance underway in one of their most traditional industries.

And Norcross-Webb does not hesitate to say that she will return to the crowdfunding platform during the next fundraiser.

Additionally, investors who enter through crowdfunding will enter on the same terms as anyone else.

“We haven’t plumbed the depths of Crowdcube yet,” she says. “And the support of smaller investors is just as important to us as that of larger ones.”

The company is still at a stage where it feels able to personally engage with all shareholders and some of them live down the same road as it does in St. Ives.

The attention each of them pays to the international price of tin or short-term trade in China is questionable.

But there is a growing awareness at all levels that tin is, and will remain, a key metal of the future, as a famous MIT study from 2018 predicted.

If all goes according to plan, Cornish Tin, its cornerstone and Crowdcube investors could all benefit significantly.

But there is still a lot of work to do.

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