The fifth UK Mining Conference in Cornwall held at Falmouth’s Princess Pavilion took place earlier this month. 

Created by Cornish Lithium and organised by ABMEC, the Trade Association for the British Mining Supply Chain, the conference aimed to highlight the potential to responsibly extract the abundance of metals and minerals that enrich the UK’s geology; recap on developing exploration and extraction projects, while seeking solutions to complex challenges in a turbulent world.  

Attracting a record number of more than 370 delegates from Cornwall to Canada, representatives from operational mines, mineral exploration companies and the mining supply chain as well as government officials, investors, financial analysts, academics and students gathered for this four-day event to hear from the spectrum of sector-wide specialists. 

The conference tackled big questions and debated Cornwall’s potential to change the world. Topics discussed include the circular economy, airborne geophysics, gaining a social license to operate from local communities to the vital need to rebrand the industry as clean, green and modern, while promoting mining engineering as a rewarding career path within early years educational settings to bridge the future skills gap. 

Cornish Lithium, Cornish Metals, and Imerys British Lithium reported transformative progress and shared plans for environmentally responsible commercial production by 2026/2027 with the creation of hundreds of high-skilled, well-paid jobs, whilst Cornish Tin shared their new discoveries. 

Cornish Lithium’s Founder, Interim Chairman and CEO, Jeremy Wrathall, said: “Cornwall’s rich geological deposits are virtually untouched by modern exploration techniques, and this is our moment to drive the energy transition in Europe. 

“Arguably, the minerals we need for electric vehicles, power storage and the everyday electronic devices upon which many of us rely are only critical because, as a nation, we have failed to appreciate their importance in recent times.  

“What is critical about these minerals now is how we develop them for the benefit of Cornwall and the UK in a responsible manner. Without metals such as lithium we cannot make the transition to renewable energy, electric cars and a Net Zero economy.” 

The Conference culminated in a celebratory gala dinner and awards ceremony. The assembled guests were entertained by an after-dinner show – entitled Whose Mine is it Anyway? – written and produced by Golden Tree Production’s artistic director and cultural entrepreneur, Will Coleman.  

The following winners of the prestigious awards were as follows: 

Exploration Discovery of the Year - Sally Norcross-Webb and Cornish Tin 

Tautus Rising Star within the Mining Sector - Sean Cleveland from Cornish Lithium 

Best Innovation in Mining - Craig Clement from Evove 

Environmental, Social and Governance/Outstanding Community Outreach Project - Ben Clitherow from Cornish Metals 

Lifetime Achievement in the Mining Industry - Clive Newell from Cornish Tin. 

“Thank you to everyone who participated in and helped to organise such a stimulating and successful event,” concluded Jeremy Wrathall.  

“The role of responsible mineral extraction in facilitating the energy transition is clear and we need to accelerate the opportunity to create an industry that attracts enquiring young minds and makes a meaningful contribution to society. The world’s spotlight is shining on Cornwall. We can now lead the conversation and illustrate the necessity of our industry to achieving economic growth and delivering positive change.”